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May 28, 2013

Opinion: Help stop Pebble Mine

A priceless and irreplaceable piece of our planet is in danger of being destroyed. It is in urgent need of a few minutes of your time. Let me explain...

Years ago, The Pebble Partnership, a group of British and Canadian companies, leased mining rights in Alaska's Bristol Bay region from the federal government. They then proposed an open pit gold and copper mine of enormous proportions... several miles in diameter and 4,000 feet deep. Along with the mine, they proposed seven miles of earthen dams up to 740 feet high to retain toxic waste water, massive infrastructure to house people and equipment, and a complex system of haul roads to transport ore to the Gulf of Alaska.

Most responsible people thought Pebble would quickly die in the face of heated public opposition. It didn't. Northern Dynasty and Anglo American, the foreign companies that comprise Pebble, remain determined to mine the pristine Bristol Bay watershed. If they do, they will destroy a beautiful ecosystem that is home to countless wildlife and the world's largest remaining sockeye salmon system. Tom Douglas, noted Seattle restaurateur and strong Pebble critic, summed up the seriousness of the Pebble threat well when he said, “I believe that we are facing one of the most critical environmental debates of our times...”

Recently, however, Pebble was dealt a serious blow. It will become mortal if enough people take a few minutes to voice their opinion. Here's why. The EPA released on April 30 their long awaited assessment of the proposed mine. It was scathing. They concluded, among other things, that Pebble would create “extensive loss of salmon streams and wetlands critical to fish habitat.” The EPA is accepting public comment until May 31. They have the power to kill Pebble decisively by invoking the Clean Water Act and are more likely to do so if the public supports them. Assuming you agree with the EPA and countless others, PLEASE take a few minutes to voice your opinion. Go to http://tinyurl.com/qxo72w5

Feel free to edit the suggested letter...or not. Just please send it.

Cary Kopczynski

Cary Kopczynski & Co.

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