Provide comments on EPA’s Preemptive 404(c) Veto of the Pebble Project
Comment deadline was September 6, 2022 


Pursuant to Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 10 is requesting public comments on its 2022 Proposed Determination to prohibit and restrict the use of certain waters in the South Fork Koktuli River (SFK), North Fork Koktuli River (NFK), and Upper Talarik Creek (UTC) watersheds as disposal sites for the discharge of dredged or fill material associated with mining the Pebble deposit, a copper-, gold-, and molybdenum-bearing ore body located in Southwest, Alaska. EPA Region 10 has also is announced public hearings on this proposed determination. 

EPA’s use of this proposed determination (preemptive veto) would set a precedent that will have rippling effects across Alaska, not just related to resource development projects. The EPA should allow the established and ongoing process to play out before issuing this preemptive veto.

The deadline to submit comments on this proposed determination is September 6th. Be sure all correspondence includes this Docket ID number: EPA-R10-OW-2022-0418


Action Requested:

RDC members are encouraged to comment in opposition of the EPA’s Preemptive 404 Veto of the Pebble Project before the September 6th deadline.

Submit Comments:

Comments can be submitted online at All comments should include the project’s docket number: EPA-R10-OW-2022-0418 

Comment via email by sending an email to [email protected] and include the docket number EPA–R10–OW–2022–0418 in the email subject line.

Comment directly by mail by sending original comments and three copies to: 
Water Docket
Environmental Protection Agency 
Attention: Docket ID No. EPA-R10-OW-2022-0418
Mail Code 2822T
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20460

Points to consider in your comments: 

  • This is preemptive and precedent setting. There is an established process for evaluating resource development and other projects in the US and it should be followed.
  •  EPA was a full participant in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process for the Pebble Project over the course of three years and never raised objections of this magnitude. 

  •  The EPA’s proposed action against the Pebble Project is not just a veto of the current Pebble permit application, it is also a preemptive veto of any future proposals in the area fully blocking any development actions across 309 square miles of state of Alaska land.

  • The justification for Pebble action could be applied to any watershed in Alaska including the Copper River, Yukon River or Kuskokwim River.

  • This preemptive veto sets a dangerous precedent which would undermine the multi-agency EIS that was recently completed for Pebble that found no harm would be done to the Bristol Bay fishery. The EIS noted that downstream waters would not see impacts beyond what would be expected to be seen in season fluctuations.

  • Resource development projects create jobs, economic activity, and revenue for the state of Alaska. This is especially important for communities closest to projects that have few year-round jobs and face extremely high costs of living.

    • A preemptive veto like EPA is proposing would seriously jeopardize the potential for thousands of jobs created, hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity generated, and prevent important and needed contributions to the state and local government in Alaska.
  • Copper is an essential mineral for the nation’s goals of expanding renewable power sources such as wind and solar.  Pebble is one of the most significant copper prospects in the nation and around the world.
    • Many studies point to the importance of copper (and other minerals) to the success of the nation’s goals getting more energy from renewable sources.  
    • The challenges facing the nation is where will the copper (and other minerals) come from as there are not sufficient known sources to meet the forecasted demand.  
    • Improperly shutting down the Pebble opportunity puts the nation’s green goals at risk.
    • The biggest beneficiary of preventing Pebble and other US copper mining projects will be China.

Comment deadline was September 6, 2022