JUNEAU -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced a 12-member peer review panel that will evaluate an agency draft study of the impacts of mining on the Bristol Bay region.
EPA also says it will take comments until June 26 on the questions it proposes to guide the panel's work.
The agency's draft watershed assessment found that even without mine-related failures, there would be effects on fish due to eliminated or blocked streams, removal of wetlands and a loss of fish habitat as water is used for mine operations.
Public comment is being taken on the study through July 23.
EPA says a contractor assembled the peer review panel from a list of 86 candidates nominated during a prior comment period. The panel is to meet in August in Anchorage.
The peer review panel members are:
David Atkins, Watershed Environmental, LLC.—Expertise in mining and hydrology.
Steve Buckley, WHPacific/NANA Alaska—Expertise in mining and seismology.
Dr. Courtney Carothers—Expertise in indigenous Alaskan cultures.
Dr. Dennis Dauble, Washington State University—Expertise in fisheries biology and wildlife ecology.
Dr. Gordon Reeves, USDA Pacific NW Research Station—Expertise in fisheries biology and aquatic biology.
Dr. Charles Slaughter, University of Idaho—Expertise in hydrology.
Dr. John Stednick, Colorado State University—Expertise in hydrology and biogeochemistry.
Dr. Roy Stein, Ohio State University—Expertise in fisheries and aquatic biology.
Dr. William Stubblefield, Oregon State University—Expertise in aquatic biology and ecotoxicology.
Dr. Dirk van Zyl, University of British Columbia—Expertise in mining and biogeochemistry.
Dr. Phyllis Weber Scannel—Expertise in aquatic ecology and ecotoxicology.
Dr. Paul Whitney—Expertise in wildlife ecology and ecotoxicology.