The company hoping to develop the Pebble mining prospect near Bristol Bay wants a federal court to issue a subpoena for a former scientist for the Environmental Protection Agency who Pebble says fled the country to avoid answering allegations that he worked with mining opponents against the development.

The effort to bring Phil North back to the U.S. is part of Pebble Limited Partnership’s lawsuit that alleges the EPA colluded with anti-mine activists as it developed a watershed assessment saying a large open-pit mine could severely damage one of the world’s largest commercial salmon fisheries.  

Pebble Limited, part of Northern Dynasty Minerals of Canada, claims the EPA violated federal law as it took steps toward preemptively stopping the controversial Pebble project, which would be one of the largest open-pit copper mines in the world.

Pebble argues that North, a lead scientist in the agency’s review, collaborated with mine opponents, including six tribes from the region, conservation groups and other federal scientists, to prepare reports used by the EPA in its analysis.

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