Environment & Energy Report

Challenge to EPA Reversal of Pebble Mine Restrictions Dismissed

April 20, 2020, 4:28 PM

The Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to withdraw proposed restrictions on mining operations in Alaska’s Bristol Bay region was an enforcement action and unreviewable under the Administrative Procedure Act, an Alaska federal court ruled.

Several environmental and Alaska-based groups argued in consolidated cases that the EPA’s undoing of proposed water pollution limits for the proposed Pebble Mine was a regulatory action under the Clean Water Act and subject to judicial review.

While that undoing can be forward-looking, it has the effect of denying or suspending a dredge-and-fill permit and qualifies as a sanction under the Administrative Procedure Act, according to the...

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