Where in the world is Phillip North?

The former Environmental Protection Agency biologist is scheduled to be deposed by Pebble Limited Partnership and EPA attorneys Nov. 12 in Anchorage; however his whereabouts are unknown to both sides.

North is seen as a key witness in Pebble’s lawsuit against the EPA. In the lawsuit filed last year, Pebble contends the agency colluded with Alaska Native groups and other mine opponents while drafting the Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment. The assessment is the scientific basis for the EPA’s pending Clean Water Act Section 404(c) action, which would preemptively block large-scale mining in the Bristol Bay region.

North, who retired from the EPA in 2013, worked extensively on drafting the 1,000-plus page assessment, which was finalized early in 2014.

The EPA contends Pebble had the same access to agency officials as anyone else with interest in the Bristol Bay Assessment, and that any actions that potentially violated federal public meeting and objectivity laws were incidental.

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