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Yellowstone Oil Spill Underscores the Need for Better Protection for Western Waters

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By Bonnie Gestring

July 6, 2011

This week s Exxon pipeline leak of 42,000 gallons of oil into Montana s famed Yellowstone River demonstrates just how quickly inadequate regulations translate into real harm to western waters, and the communities and businesses that rely on them. 

The Environmental Protection Agency is currently taking public comments on new guidelines that will determine which western waterways are considered waters of the U.S. and therefore protected under the Clean Water Act.

Some recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions have muddied the water, and these guidance documents will go a long way towards clarifying this important issue.

The EPA estimates that more than 117 million Americans get their drinking water from public supplies fed in whole or in part by intermittent or ephemeral streams vulnerable to pollution thanks to current confusion.

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Tagged with: epa, clean water act, oil spill, pipeline leak, exxon, waters of the u.s.


Thank you to Blue Nile

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By Bonnie Gestring

July 1, 2011

Thank you to Blue Nile!

It s that time of the year when the wild salmon are making their annual epic journey from the ocean up into the headwaters of Alaska s Bristol Bay to spawn. It s an amazing force of nature on average some 40 million salmon strong! And, it s the economic engine for the region - supplying some 50% of the world s commercial supply of wild sockeye salmon!

No wonder there s so much support for protecting this sustainable salmon fishery, and the communities and hardworking commercial fishermen who rely on it, against the proposed Pebble mine. The Pebble gold and copper mine, proposed by UK-based Anglo American, would dispose of up to 10 billion tons of toxic mine waste in the Bristol Bay Fishery Reserve.

Responsible jewelers across the company have lined up in support of Bristol Bay protection, pledging not to source gold from the Pebble mine, should it be developed. The most recent signatory is on-line jeweler Blue Nile Inc. It joins over 50 other jewelers in making this commitment towards responsible gold sourcing. Check out the full list of jewelers at http://www.ourbristolbay.com/pledge-signee.html

We thank them for it. And, 40 million salmon do too!

 

 

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Tagged with: bristol bay, pebble, blue nile


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