In a Fox News editorial from last week, a key champion of a potential giant copper mine in southern Alaska urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to refrain from politicizing an imminent permit application.
The editorial claims that environmentalists are subverting the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which governs certain development permits, by pushing for a pre-emptive veto of the mine, worth about $55 billion in deposits, under the Clean Water Act.
Written by Pebble Partnership CEO John Shively, the editorial blasts a potential veto as "unprecedented and legally dubious", and specifically attacks the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
The council is having no truck with that, however.
"Complete nonsense," said NRDC attorney and Pebble mine campaign chief Joel Reynolds to the International Business Times, describing Shively's arguments. "The notion that the EPA or any other federal agency with lawful jurisdiction can't reject a project without going through a NEPA process is frivolous."
"In this case, the Clean Water Act gives the EPA the authority, without question, to protect the Bristol Bay watershed from large-scale mining," he continued.
Southern Alaska's Bristol Bay region is at stake for the thousands opposing the giant mine.
Activists say that the region houses a salmon fishing industry worth at least 12,000 jobs and $1.5 billion annually, and that mining could have disastrous environmental impacts.
Reynolds pointed out that similar vetoes have already been used thirteen times since the Clean Water Act became law four years ago, even if it is used only on select projects.
Read the full story at the International Business Times>>
National Fisherman Live: 1/27/15
In this episode:
Assessment: Atlantic menhaden is not overfished
Bering Sea pollock fishery casts off
Dock to Dish opens Florida’s first CSF
Second wave of disaster funds for Alaska
Fisherman lands N.C.’s largest bluefin ever
The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute is still seeking public review and comment on the Alaska Responsible Fisheries Management Conformance Criteria (Version 1.2, September 2011). The public review and comment period, which opened on Dec. 3, 2014, runs through Monday, Feb. 3.
NOAA, in consultation with the Department of the Interior, has appointed 10 new members to the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee. The 20-member committee is composed of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience who advise the departments of commerce and the interior on ways to strengthen and connect the nation's MPA programs. The new members join the 10 continuing members appointed in 2012.