Sockeye Swimming in Alaska
One of millions, this sockeye makes its way up a small creek in the Bristol Bay region.

If there's one thing citizens of modern America have learned to only partially take to heart, it is rhetoric from elected and appointed officials. But, if opponents of Pebble Mine can take EPA head Gina McCarthy's most recent words about Bristol Bay to heart, they may soon have something to celebrate.

McCarthy spoke at Trout Unlimited's annual membership meeting today, where she made some significant statements regarding Bristol Bay and Pebble Mine. McCarthy stated, "I know and you know that [Bristol Bay] is the premiere--in the world--sockeye salmon fishery and we are going to make sure that that is not impacted by any development in that area. That's what we have to do. That's our job."

McCarthy continued, pledging that the EPA is "going to follow the science." Given that McCarthy holds to that statement, it generates a great deal of hope that the EPA will move forward with a 404 (c) veto of mining operations such as Pebble Mine in the Bristol Bay region, as the EPA's own science has been unequivocal in stating that mining poses a grave and certain risk to the bay and its inhabitants.

It is important to note, however, that there were comments from McCarthy which can be construed as the EPA head hedging her bets and thus a great deal of uncertainty still exists regarding what the EPA's next action will be.

To read more about McCarthy's comments, refer to Trout Unlimited's report on McCarthy's speech.


The scientific data in the hands of Pebble developers (NDM) is the gold standard. At the opposite end of the spectrum we have the scientific data quickly assembled by the EPA in an attempt to appease the whiners. As an analogy, we have a future debate shaping up between an MIT graduate (Pebble) and a pre-school child (EPA). We all know who wins that debate :) Keep whining though people, it's great entertainment.

I must disagree with you characterization of the EPA being a pre-school child. I personally know people have worked and still work at the EPA. The people working there are good, smart, and hardworking individuals. Yes, the EPA has its flaws, but that is mainly caused lack of funding. You state that the Pebble developers data is gold? Why is that the case? Also, do you think that they have a conflict of interest to show data that their impacts would not be detrimental given they would greatly benefit from the mine?