EPA plans final Bristol Bay assessment this year

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to issue a final report this year on the impacts of large-scale mining in the Bristol Bay region. That’s according to regional director Dennis McLerran.

EPA last year released a draft watershed assessment, which underwent peer review. Some panelists raised concerns about things like missing data and incomplete information. EPA announced in November that it would address the concerns raised by the panel, first with a revised draft.

McLerran, in prepared remarks to the Alaska Forum on the Environment, says the agency is arranging to have the original experts review the revised assessment and evaluate whether it is responsive to their comments. EPA plans to release the draft to the public for comment concurrently.

He says EPA intends to complete the assessment this year.