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Trump administration revives huge mine opposed by tribes in Alaska

Filed Under: Environment | Law | National | Politics
More on: alaska, alaska native, barack obama, epa, salmon, scott pruitt

From left: Alannah Hurley, the executive director of United Tribes of Bristol Bay, Native elder Mae Syvrud and former president Barack Obama are seen in Dillingham, Alaska, on September 2, 2015. Photo: Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association

The Trump administration has reached a legal settlement that opens the door for a huge mine on tribal fishing grounds in Alaska.

The deal allows a Canadian company to resubmit a permit for the controversial Pebble Mine. The project had effectively been squashed by the Obama administration -- former president Barack Obama even visited the area and met with Native fisherwomen during his historic trip to Alaska in 2015.

“We are committed to due process and the rule of law, and regulations that are 'regular',” Administrator Scott Pruitt of the said in a press release on Friday. “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. We are committed to listening to all voices as this process unfolds.

Tribes and some Alaska Native corporations in the Bristol Bay region oppose the mine because they believe it will harm the largest sockeye salmon fishery in the world. Non-Native groups, including fishermen and environmentalists, also oppose what would be one of the world's largest gold mining operations.

Read More on the Story:
Reversing Obama, Trump EPA reaches deal with Pebble Mine developer (Alaska Dispatch News 5/12)
Obama blocked this controversial Alaskan gold mine. Trump just gave it new life. (The Washington Post 5/12)
EPA may OK a massive, controversial mine project near pristine Alaskan bay (Fox News 5/12)
Trump's EPA revives controversial Alaska mining project (The Hill 5/12)

Related Stories:
President Barack Obama offers thoughts on historic trip to Alaska (September 3, 2015)
Joel Reynolds: Saying goodbye to Native elder Bobby Andrew (June 23, 2015)
Robert Heyano: Alaska tribes committed to fight against mine (February 18, 2015)
EPA decision anticipated on mine opposed by Alaska Natives (February 16, 2015)
New EPA leader visits controversial Pebble Mine site in Alaska (August 28, 2013)

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