VANCOUVER, Jan. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ - Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. (TSX: NDM; NYSE MKT: NAK) ("Northern Dynasty" or the "Company") acknowledges that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released the final version of its Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment (BBWA), an initiative launched in February 2011 to assess the effects of current and potential future development on the natural resources of Bristol Bay. EPA released drafts of the watershed assessment in May 2012 and April 2013 to widespread criticism about the report's flawed methodology and findings, including from the State of Alaska, Alaska Native groups and expert Peer Reviewers commissioned by the federal agency. Throughout the process of completing the BBWA, EPA has repeatedly failed to meet its own guidelines and policies for watershed assessments, risk assessment and peer review, and violated the US Information Quality Act. "Publication of the final watershed assessment is really the final chapter in a very sad story," said Northern Dynasty President & CEO Ron Thiessen. "We believe EPA set out to do a flawed analysis of the Pebble Project, and they certainly succeeded with both their first and second drafts of the BBWA. We have every expectation that the final report released today is more of the same." Thiessen said the final BBWA report does not include any recommendations or regulatory actions that will affect future development of the Pebble Project. "We look forward to defining a proposed development plan for Pebble and to having it reviewed by federal and state regulatory agencies under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in the months and years ahead," Thiessen said. "We have every expectation that the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process required by NEPA, to be administered by the US Army Corps of Engineers, will ultimately provide a much more rigorous, fair and transparent review of the science surrounding this important project."