WASHINGTON—The Biden administration is proposing sweeping environmental protections for Bristol Bay in southwest Alaska, a plan that could permanently block the development of the controversial Pebble Mine copper-and-gold project.
In a decision announced Thursday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it would undo a decision under former President Trump in 2019 to withdraw a plan to protect the region that had been proposed under the Clean Water Act, according to the EPA.
The EPA said the aim is to protect salmon fisheries that are important to native tribes there and among the world’s largest.
While the Trump administration had withdrawn the plan for protections across Bristol Bay in 2019, it later ended up blocking the mine project itself over the environmental concerns. The Army Corps of Engineers rejected Pebble’s permits, saying developers couldn’t mitigate the wetlands damage they would inflict.
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