In a small but significant victory for the Pebble mine, a federal judge has put the brakes on the Environmental Protection Agency’s effort to block construction of the proposed gold and copper project in Bristol Bay, Alaska.
The injunction will hold until Judge H. Russel Holland rules on the Pebble Partnership’s contention that the EPA violated a federal meeting law by working with antimine activists.
In a statement issued by mine owner Northern Dynasty Minerals, Pebble Limited Partnership CEO Tom Collier called the injunction “a procedural victory and does not resolve our claims” of EPA bias.
But he added, “For the first time, EPA’s march to preemptively veto Pebble has been halted.”
In May, the EPA invoked an infrequently used provision of the Clean Water Act to block further permits for the mine, arguing the project may have “significant and irreversible negative impacts” on the surrounding ecosystem.