Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

An employee of Northen Dynasty Mines Inc. mans a drilling rig in the Pebble Mine East site near the village of Iliamna, Alaska. Photo: Luis Sinco / Getty Images

The Army Corps of Engineers on Friday issued a final report concluding that a proposed Alaskan gold and copper mine would not harm the long-term health of a fishery in Bristol Bay, Alaska, reversing Obama-era regulations and policies.

Why it matters: Bristol Bay is home to one of the most important salmon fisheries around the globe. According to the 2014 assessment, it produces nearly half of the world's wild sockeye salmon catch annually and its resources support around 14,000 jobs.

Context: In 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency determined that the mine “would result in complete loss of fish habitat due to elimination, dewatering, and fragmentation of streams, wetlands, and other aquatic resources" in some areas of the bay, effectively stopping the project.

What they're saying: Tom Collier, CEO of the project's developer Pebble Limited Partnership, claimed in a statement Friday that the report shows how the mine can be built without harming the environment.

  • “The final EIS is the first time that a federal agency has engaged in a rigorous review of the specific plan that we intend to use to build this project," Collier said, according to KDLG, a public radio station in Dillingham, Alaska. "After doing that, in the draft and preliminary final, they concluded that the project won’t damage the fishery.”
  • Andy Wink, executive director of the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association, told CNN that similar mines have never coexisted with wild salmon runs.
    • "If this administration values America's food and job security then our federal agencies should be taking an extra hard look at this project and doing everything they can to protect Bristol Bay and its 14,500 fishing and seafood jobs," Wink said.
  • Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski said she is reviewing the environmental impact assessment, but noted that "adverse impacts to Alaska's world-class salmon fishery and to the ecosystem of Bristol Bay are unacceptable."

The big picture: The Army Corps ruling is a continuation of the Trump administration's reversal of environmental policy approved by the Obama administration.

What's next: The Army Corps now has 30 days to issue a final word on whether the mine will get the federal permit needed to begin construction, according to KDLG.

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Aug 19, 2020 - Economy & Business

More seafood on the menu by 2050

Juvenile salmon in a hatchery in Russia. Photo: Yuri Smityuk\TASS via Getty Images

New research charts out how improvements in aquaculture and sustainable fishing could significantly increase food production from the sea by midcentury.

Why it matters: Global demand for food and particularly protein is projected to rise in step with human population growth. With little new land available to be sustainably opened for farming, our best bet may be the oceans — provided we can better manage that resource.

Biden will reverse Trump's attempt to lift COVID-related travel restrictions

Photo: Tasos Katopodis via Getty

The incoming Biden administration will reverse President Trump's last-minute order to lift COVID-19 related travel restrictions, Jen Psaki, the incoming White House press secretary, tweeted.

Why it matters: President Trump ordered entry bans lifted for travelers from the U.K., Ireland, Brazil and much of Europe to go into effect Jan. 26, but the Biden administration will "strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19," Jen Psaki said. Biden will be inaugurated on Wednesday, Jan. 20 and Trump will no longer be president by the time the order is set to go into effect.

Dominion sends cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems on Monday sent a cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell over his spread of misinformation related to the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Trump and several of his allies have pushed false conspiracy theories about the company, leading Dominion to take legal action. It's suing pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell for defamation and $1.3 billion in damages, and a Dominion employee has sued Trump himself, OANN and Newsmax.