EPA Again Considers Proposal to Restrict Pebble Disposal Site
WASHINGTON – US Environmental Protection (EPA) Agency General Counsel Matthew Z. Leopold signed a memo directing Chris Hladick, EPA Region 10 Administrator to resume consideration of the withdrawal of the July 2014 Proposed Determination, which proposes to restrict use of the Pebble Deposit Area as a disposal site.
“Today’s step is a move toward good government decision making, which we owe under the law to both the public and project proponents. We will reconsider whether the Proposed Determination that was issued preemptively in 2014 is still appropriate in light of the permit application and a 1,400-page draft Environmental Impact Statement, which is a large volume of information that EPA did not have previously,” said General Counsel Leopold. “At the same time, we are going to invoke the well-understood Clean Water Act 404 elevation procedures to align the EPA with the Army Corps process to ensure all potential significant impacts to the environment are thoroughly vetted and raised before any final decision on the permit can be reached in the future.”
The signed memo can be found here: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2019-06/documents/pebblemine508.pdf
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Out of the Mine and into the Smelter
Mining has long been a key fixture of Alaska’s economy. On a small scale, people flock to the 49th state to tour different operations. Kennecott Mine was once a booming copper mining site and is now a National Historic Landmark, attracting tourists eager to visit the ghost town and get a feel of the Gold Rush era it once dominated.