Tags: Climate Change | Global Warming | epa | mining | alaska | gold | environment

EPA Scraps Obama-Era Veto of Mining Operations in Alaska

A helicopter lands near a test drilling site for the Pebble Mine in Southwest Alaska
A helicopter lands near a test drilling site for the Pebble Mine in Southwest Alaska. (AP Photo/Al Grillo)

By    |   Tuesday, 30 July 2019 05:47 PM

The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday scrapped an Obama-era preemptive veto of mining operations in Alaska's Bristol Bay.

In a statement, Region 10 Administrator Chris Hladick said the agency will "focus on the permit review process for the Pebble Mine project."

"The agency has worked closely with the Army Corps to engage with stakeholders and the public on this issue, which has resulted in an expansive public record, including specific information about the proposed mining project that did not exist in 2014," Hladick added.

The Pebble Mine is home to millions of tons of copper and gold. It is the world's biggest undeveloped gold and copper project and has drawn opposition from environmentalists, some native groups and sport fishermen.

Under Obama, the EPA determined large-scale mining at the center of the Bristol Bay watershed could cause unacceptable damage to Alaska's premier salmon fishery and natural resources there and blocked the project even before a permit application had been filed.

The EPA's reversal does not constitute an approval of the permit application.

"Instead, it allows EPA to continue working with the [U.S. Army] Corps to review the current permit application and engage in the National Environmental Policy Act [NEPA] process," the statement reads.

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An Obama-era preemptive veto of mining operations in Alaska's Bristol Bay was scrapped by the Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday.
epa, mining, alaska, gold, environment
203
2019-47-30
Tuesday, 30 July 2019 05:47 PM
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