A controversial mining project in Alaska’s Bristol Bay soon could receive a green light after the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday reached a settlement agreement with a small Canadian company that has been seeking to apply for permission to build what could be the world’s largest gold and copper mine.
The settlement between the agency and a unit of Northern Dynasty Minerals reverses a controversial Obama-era decision by the EPA that blocked the company from applying for a permit to build the so-called Pebble Mine project in the Bristol Bay watershed of southern Alaska.
“We are committed to due process and the rule of law, and regulations that are ‘regular,’” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said in a statement. “We understand how much the community cares about this issue, with passionate advocates on all sides. The agreement will not guarantee or prejudge a particular outcome, but will provide Pebble a fair process for their permit application and help steer EPA away from costly and time-consuming litigation.”