People of Northwest Public Radio
Thu January 23, 2014
Cantwell Asks White House To Stop Alaska Mine Project
Senator Maria Cantwell wants the White House to stop a proposed mine in Alaska that she says will threaten jobs in Washington state. The proposed Pebble Mine, in Western Alaska, sits near Bristol Bay, which is one of the world’s most abundant salmon habitats. About 1,000 Washington residents hold commercial fishing permits there. At a rally at Fisherman’s Terminal in Seattle, Cantwell described the mine as a “giant cauldron of toxic waste.”
"I say that because the science shows that this material would take hundreds of thousands of years to get rid of if it reached the watershed. So one mistake and that cauldron starts to seep into our water, into the fish, and killing these important jobs,” Cantwell says.
She’s asking President Obama to follow up on an EPA assessment that said the mine could pose a danger to the salmon. The Pebble Partnership, which is seeking to build the mine, says her request is unprecedented, and would halt plans to bring thousands of jobs and billions in economic growth to western Alaska. Spokesman Mike Heatwole called the EPA study a political document designed to sink the project.
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