A proposed gold and copper mine that was quickly shut down by the Obama administration’s harsh EPA regulations has just moved closer to reality this week when its developers filed new permits with the federal government Friday.
The company behind Pebble Mine, in Alaska’s Bristol Bay, were set Friday to file a wetlands-fill permit with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The permit application by the Pebble Limited Partnership, a subsidiary of Northern Dynasty Minerals, marks a milestone for the project that has seen renewed interest since President Trump appointed former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the EPA.
“At the outset of 2017, we established three ambitious corporate objectives for Northern Dynasty and the Pebble Project,” Northern Dynasty President & CEO Ron Thiessen said in a statement.
“We committed to reaching a resolution with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to restore the Pebble Project to normal course permitting, to re-partnering on the Pebble Project and to initiating permitting under [National Environmental Policy Act.] As we approach the end of the year, I’m proud to report that we will hit our mark on all three important milestones.”
The permit application comes just months after The mining Company reached a settlement with the new EPA, to apply for permission to build what could be the world’s largest gold and copper mine.
The project has been stuck since 2014 after the EPA put a hold on the mine, even before the company had submitted its permit applications.
Obama’s EPA invoked a little-known part of the Clean Water Act called Section 404(c) that allows the EPA to “restrict, prohibit, deny or withdraw the use of an area as a disposal site for dredged or fill material if the discharge will have unacceptable adverse effects on municipal water supplies, shellfish beds and fishery areas, wildlife or recreational areas.”
As the Project moves forward there could be much opposition seen from environmentalists as new companies work to strike Gold in Some of America’s richest soil.