Judge allows for subpoena in Pebble lawsuit

JUNEAU — A federal judge says the group behind the proposed Pebble Mine can serve a subpoena on an Internet services provider to preserve emails from a former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency employee and an attorney who has represented Pebble critics.

Attorneys for the Pebble Limited Partnership made the request to keep emails from being deleted as part of routine server maintenance by Alaska Communications.

U.S. District Court Judge H. Russel Holland ruled that production of the emails wouldn't be required before the start of pre-trial discovery.

Pebble is suing EPA, alleging that Pebble opponents were involved in developing an EPA report that concluded large-scale mining in the Bristol Bay region would pose significant risk to salmon.

EPA says it provided Pebble and the public opportunities to participate. EPA wants the lawsuit dismissed.