Alaska Attorney General Stands Up Against EPA

Published May 8, 2012

Alaska Attorney General Michael Geraghty has written a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency promising the state will employ “all available legal options” if the federal agency blocks development of Pebble Mine, a gold and copper mine opposed by environmental activist groups. 

Activists claim the mine will diminish water quality in nearby Bristol Bay in southwest Alaska. Geraghty contests those claims, and warns EPA that it does not have authority under the Clean Water Act to block the mine.

The company that would like to build and operate the mine has yet to submit a formal plan for the mine, but that has not stopped environmental activist groups from opposing it. EPA has also taken the highly unusual step of investigating the potential mine before a plan is even submitted. 

A spokesman for the mining company told Greenwire, “We are working with the EPA because we need to ensure our voice is heard, while at the same time we object to what is being considered before we have defined our project or submitted an application.”