gata.org / By Juliet Eiperin and Brady Dennis via Washington Post / May 12, 2017
The Environmental Protection Agency has reached a legal settlement with a Canadian company hoping to build a massive gold, copper, and molybdenum mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed, clearing the way for the firm to apply for federal permits.
The settlement reached late Thursday between the EPA and the Pebble Limited Partnership, a subsidiary of Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd., could revive a controversial project that was effectively scuttled under the Obama administration. And it underscores how President Trump’s commitment to support mining extends far beyond coal, to gold, copper and other minerals.
While the move does not grant immediate approval to the Pebble Mine project, which will have to undergo a federal environmental review and also clear state hurdles before any construction takes place, it reverses the agency’s 2014 determination that a large-scale mine in the area be barred because it would imperil the region’s valuable sockeye salmon fishery.
In a statement, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said that the agreement “will not guarantee or prejudge a particular outcome, but will provide Pebble a fair process for their permit application and help steer EPA away
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