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Friday, December 09, 2022

EPA proposes ban in fight over Alaska mine

JUNEAU, Alaska ( Associated Press) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing sanctions that would hinder plans for a copper and gold mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay area, a move that would allow developers to move a mine in the area. The is the latest in a long-running controversy over the efforts. Known for its salmon run.

The proposal would prohibit dredging or filling material in US waters within the footprint of a proposed mine site by the developer, Pebble Limited Partnership, the EPA said in a statement. The federal agency said it took into account information that has become available since it restricted previously proposed developments in 2014, including new scientific analysis and a mine plan from the Pebble Partnership that has been approved as part of a permit application. It was submitted to the US Army Corps of Engineers. ,

During the Obama administration, the EPA proposed but did not finalize restrictions on development. Pebble Partnership called those proposed restrictions unreasonable, arguing that they were based on hypothetical mine plans and that the project should go through a permitting process.

Pebble Partnerships, which is owned by Canada-based Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd., is appealing a 2020 Corps decision that refused approval of a major permit for the project in southwest Alaska. The Pacific Ocean Division of the Corps is handling the appeal.

Earlier this month a division spokesman, Luciano Vera, said the corps did not have a timeline for issuing the decision but was “committed to working as efficiently as possible to reach an objective and impartial decision on the merits of this appeal.” Was.”

Critics of the proposed pebble mine are pressing the EPA to provide protection for the Bristol Bay area. As a candidate in 2020, President Joe Biden said he would “defend Bristol Bay” if elected.

The EPA says it will take comment on its latest proposal.

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