6/5/15 Court ruling stops EPA work on Pebble Mine

Jun 4, 2015

Decision comes in one of Pebble Limited's lawsuits against the EPA

U.S. District Court Judge H. Russel Holland Monday put a temporary hold on the EPA's 404(c) process on the Pebble Mine, a process that allows EPA to restrict or prohibit projects that could have adverse effects on fishery areas. EPA's February decision to initiate the process was based on a Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment it completed in January.

The Pebble Limited Partnership contends that while EPA was developing that assessment, it violated the Federal Advisory Committee Act, which ensures advisory committees are objective and accessible to the public.

CoastAlaska's Ed Schoenfeld reports a tailings dam break at a British Columbia copper and gold mine could threaten Southeast Alaska salmon fisheries, according to critics who say similar dams closer to the border could suffer the same fate, polluting Alaskan waters.

The Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $888,000 to the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium for research on climate change and contaminant shifts, and effects on human health in rural communities. The grant is one of six given out nationwide. The study will focus on traditional foods.

In a lawsuit alleging the Environmental Protection Agency overstepped its authority in erecting roadblocks to the Pebble Mine, the group behind the mine has requested advance notice of EPA  actions affecting the mine.

Alaska has set a record in the number of tourists visiting Alaska in the year beginning May 1, 2013.

The Senate Finance Committee's $2.1 billion budget includes $145 million for a new heating system for the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and $2.1 for a road linking King Cove to Cold Bay. It doesn't include $10 million for the Susitna dam project that Administration was seeking.

Some subsistence fishermen are calling for a temporary halt to fishing on the Yukon River after the state has forecast abysmal returns of king salmon.

Congress is asking the EPA to produce documents about the permit review under the Clean Water Act on the Pebble Mine.

Governor Sean Parnell has signed a bill rejecting pay increases for himself and other top state executives.

Galena has its work cut out for it in the coming construction season as it rebuilds from disastrous flooding last year.

Seiners took in 10,300 tons of herring in the first two openings of the sac roe herring fishery in Sitka.