Alaska asks US Supreme Court to undo EPA Pebble mine veto (Reuters – July 26, 2023)

The state of Alaska on Wednesday asked the US Supreme Court to vacate a Biden administration veto blocking Northern Dynasty Minerals’ proposed Pebble copper and gold mining project, arguing the move violated a decades-old land swap deal and the state’s sovereignty.

The lawsuit asked the high court to reverse the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Water Act veto. The agency’s January decision determined the Pebble project would cause large-scale loss and damage to the Bristol Bay watershed, and prohibited the project from dumping mining waste into those waters.

Alaska said the restrictions violate the state’s sovereign right to regulate its lands and waters, as well as a 1976 land swap with the US government that gave the state ownership over the area in question.

The EPA’s decision illegally blocks development that is “critical to the continued well-being of Alaska, which has long relied on its resource-rich lands to fund the state and local governments,” the state said.

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