In reversal, EPA deals setback to controversial gold mining proposal in Alaska

Section:

By Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis
The Washington Post
Friday, January 26, 2018

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt announced late Friday that he will not scrap the agency's 2014 determination that a large-scale mining operation could irreparably harm Alaska's Bristol Bay water­shed.

His decision, which falls short of blocking a proposed gold and copper mine in the region outright, represents a surprising twist in a years-long battle that has pitted a Canadian-owned mining company against commercial fishing operators, native Alaskans and conservationists determined to protect the world's largest sockeye salmon fishery.

... Dispatch continues below ...



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Last spring, shortly after meeting with the top executive from the project's main backer, Northern Dynasty Minerals, Pruitt directed EPA staff to revisit the Obama-era decision to short-circuit the project using a provision of the Clean Water Act. The 2014 decision came after several years of scientific study during which the EPA determined that the mining operation could cause “significant and irreversible harm” to the area's fish habitat.

On Friday, after receiving more than a million public comments and consulting with tribal governments and others, the EPA said it will leave the previous administration's determination in place while it takes additional comments. The announcement said the decision "neither deters nor derails the application process" for the mine. ...

... For the remainder of the report:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/in-reversal-epa-d...

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