Alaska News

Judge issues clarification halting all EPA work on Pebble Mine process

JUNEAU -- A federal judge says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency must stop all work related to a process that could result in development of the Pebble Mine being restricted or prohibited.

Last month, U.S. District Court Judge H. Russel Holland restrained EPA from taking further steps toward a decision until he ruled on the merits of a lawsuit brought by the group behind the mine.

EPA officials sought clarification.

Attorneys for the agency said barring EPA from activities such as communicating with outside parties would "create substantial harms" for EPA. They said it would disrupt review of public comments and create confusion about whether EPA can respond to public questions or communicate internally about the matter.

Holland last week clarified that EPA cannot engage in any activities related to the process.