January 15, 2015
For the last two years, the momentum in the battle over Pebble Mine has been pretty decidedly in the favor of those who would like to see any possibility of that mine’s development squashed forever. The Pebble Partnership lost it’s deep-pocketed partner Anglo American, and other major shareholders divested from Northern Dynasty. The EPA has developed, but not finalized, 404c restrictions that would block a Pebble-sized mine. And state voters just adopted an initiative to give the legislature, rather than executive branch agencies, a final say in whether Pebble or similar mines would be developed in Bristol Bay.
But Pebble, against the ropes, has come back swinging. Northern Dynasty just raised some $13 million dollars to continue their efforts, and Pebble continues to lobby Congress to tighten the EPA’s operating parameters within the Clean Water Act. There is also an EPA Inspector General investigation into agency actions surrounding Bristol Bay, and one of Pebble's federal lawsuits against EPA has now stopped the agency dead in its tracks until a judge hears more of the case.
For our Friday conversation, Tom Collier spoke with us by phone this week from Juneau. We’ll pick up the conversation as Collier explains lawsuit number two, known as the FACA case, which has resulted in a preliminary injunction, or halt, on EPA's work.
Click here to listen to the interview.