Bristol Bay resident against mine development

Posted: Friday, June 03, 2005

As a mother and resident of the Bristol Bay area, I think that the proposed Pebble Mine is a terrible idea. We have been blessed in the Bristol Bay with the world's largest natural red salmon run.

The fact that our policymakers and state leaders are willing to put that sustainable and renewable resource at risk for a project that has an estimated life span of only 50 years is shortsighted and irresponsible.

In the state's effort to garner additional revenue through mining royalties, they are not taking into account the costs of externalities that are likely to become a public burden over the next several hundred years or more.

For instance, mining has been known to degrade the environment and is cited as one of the most polluting industries in the nation.

Additionally, when people live near mines, they have often suffered from health effects of toxic levels of heavy metals, chemical pollutants and acid mine discharge.

Heavy metals can impair human health substantially, and there is well-documented evidence that clearly shows a link with heavy metal contamination and early childhood or prenatal development.

We should be protecting our renewable resources that will provide jobs for future generations (like fisheries and tourism), rather than looking at unsustainable sources of revenue (like mining) that may seriously harm the health of our children.

The risks to our environment and our children far outweigh any benefit that could potentially be derived from the proposed Pebble Mine.

I, for one, do not want to be faced with the question from my great-grandchildren, "How could you have done this to your land and to your fishery?"

Izetta Chambers


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