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Washington Fishermen Fight Against Proposed Alaskan Mine

SEATTLE (CBS Seattle/AP) — Washington fishermen who oppose a proposed mine in Alaska are having their say in Seattle Thursday at an Environmental Protection Agency hearing.

Sen. Maria Cantwell requested the hearing because she says fishermen would be affected if the Pebble Mine damages the Bristol Bay salmon fishery.

She says nearly 1,000 people in Washington hold commercial permits for Bristol Bay fishing that was worth more than $113 million in 2008. Recreational salmon fishing was worth another $75 million for Washington businesses.

The copper and gold mine is proposed near the headwaters of Bristol Bay rivers. Opponents worry about pollution and loss of habitat. Supporters say the mine would create jobs.

The EPA plans seven more hearings in Alaska and could veto the project under clean water laws.

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