The Alaska Miners Association applauds today’s announcement of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) withdrawal of the Obama-era veto regarding the proposed Clean Water Act restrictions of mining the Pebble deposit in Alaska’s Bristol Bay Watershed.
In 2012, EPA began the unprecedented exercise of a Watershed Assessment in Bristol Bay, issuing a Proposed Determination to restrict the project under Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act, prior to the Pebble Project applying for any permits through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. AMA has maintained that the Assessment and Proposed Determination were a denial of due process and set an alarming precedent that would discourage investment of all kinds in Alaska.
According to the EPA’s Announcement “Today’s decision provides clarity and certainty that EPA Region 10 will be working through the Corps’ permitting process, including as a cooperating agency, and the 404(q) Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)process for engagement on this matter.”
“We are glad to see the EPA has removed this proposed determination and that fair and due process is back on the table for Pebble,” said Deantha Crockett, AMA Executive Director. “Development proposals must be stringently evaluated, and only fair reviews of project proposals will ensure continued investment in Alaska’s economy. This is a magnificent mineral deposit that would bring substantial revenues and jobs to Alaska at a time when we need both more than ever.”