…the Army Corps preemptively vetoed the mining project even before it performed its environmental evaluations and impact assessment, which is required for projects that would discharge materials into the waters of the United States. The decision was like a teacher failing a student before he or she even takes the test.

Nicolas Loris

The Daily Signal

EPA’s Reversal on Alaska’s Pebble Mine a Victory for Regulatory Process

For more than a decade, the owners of Alaska’s Pebble Mine just wanted a shot at going through the permitting phase of the project. But before the mine’s owners could even submit a permit application, the federal government in effect said, “Don’t bother.”

The Environmental Protection Agency, however, announced last Wednesday its intention to withdraw the Obama administration’s preemptive rejection of the Pebble Mine project and to move forward with a transparent, fact-based permit process.

Pebble Mine has an abundance of copper, gold, and molybdenum. Molybdenum is one of many rare earth minerals that the U.S. has beneath its soil. These elements are critical in numerous industries (from cellphones to electric batteries to military weapons) because of their relative strength, light weight, and highly conductive properties. 

However, burdensome regulations and seemingly endless litigation thwarts extraction, stunting economic opportunities.

In the case of the Pebble Mine, the Obama administration prohibited the mining project from moving through the application process in 2014 by issuing a preemptive veto of the project, citing concerns over disposal of materials into Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed.

The Obama EPA’s proposed determination was essentially a conviction without investigation, arguing that the project would threaten Bristol Bay, which is home to the world’s largest commercial sockeye salmon fishery.

However, the agency’s proposed determination blocked the project, based on an environmental analysis of a theoretical mine that would not come close to meeting state and federal standards for mining activities. 

As The Wall Street Journal put it, “The Obama EPA ginned up a phony study based on a hypothetical mine to create a worst-case scenario and justify its veto.”

The normal process for obtaining a permit would be for the Army Corps of Engineers to release an environmental impact statement before approving or denying construction plans.

However, the Army Corps preemptively vetoed the mining project even before it performed its environmental evaluations and impact assessment, which is required for projects that would discharge materials into the waters of the United States.

The decision was like a teacher failing a student before he or she even takes the test.

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Comments

  1. All the great mineral deposits are eroding away and will be gone in 2 million years. Even or great volcanos like Mount Shasta will erode away in 2 million years.
    Millions of ore deposits have eroded away these past 2 million years and still the wildlife is surviving.
    Many thousands of ore deposits, including thousands of uranium deposits on the Colorado Plateau have been eroding away for millions of years into the Colorado River water-shed and still the water from the Colorado River is safe enough to supply Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Phoenix with drinking water and those area’s farms with irrigation.
    Now mining is regulated by the EPA to prevent disasters.
    We and our nation needs copper and minerals. Modern life would not be possible without oil, gas, energy, forestry, mining, farming, ranching and minerals. Without natural resources we would be living in caves.
    Even environmentalist are user of natural resources. Most attacks on natural resource use are political to scare people to get votes, or designed to raise money from greenhorn donators who believe they are saving the Earth.
    Really, fishing and hunting is what’s killing a big portion of wild-life not mining and there is to need to ban fishing and hunting.
    All the gold and copper mining in Alaska that has gone on 170 years mostly without regulation has not damaged the wildlife much compared to fishing and hunting. And still with all the hunting, fishing, mining and oil production wildlife is doing fine in Alaska.
    Now mining is regulated by the EPA to prevent disasters.
    We and our nation needs copper and minerals. Modern life would not be possible without oil, gas, energy, forestry, mining, farming, ranching and minerals. Without use of natural resources we would be living in caves.

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