EPA extends comment period on proposed mining restrictions
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is extending the public comment period by two months on its proposed restrictions that would block plans for a copper and gold mine in the Bristol Bay in Alaska.
The agency, in a statement, said its regional office had received communications supporting and opposing an extension. The bureau has determined that there is good cause to extend the comment period until September 6, the statement said.
The comment period was previously set to expire on Tuesday.
The EPA announced in May the proposed restrictions affecting the Pebble Mine project. It was the latest decision in a years-long dispute over efforts by the developers to advance the mine in an area known for its salmon migrations.
The EPA said its proposal would prohibit discharges of dredged or fill material into U.S. waters within the footprint of the mine site proposed by Pebble Limited Partnership, which is pursuing the project.
The partnership’s CEO called the EPA’s proposal an effort to veto the project. Critics of the mine have lobbied for protections for the Bristol Bay area.
Pebble also appealed a 2020 decision by the US Army Corps of Engineers denying a key permit. A decision in this case is pending.
The Associated Press