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EPA to block Alaska's proposed Pebble Mine over salmon risk


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?intcmp=latestnewsFox News:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Friday it is endorsing analysis that would essentially block development of a massive gold-and-copper prospect near the headwaters of a world premier salmon fishery in Alaska.


The controversial mine, whose supporters say the EPA has colluded with environmentalists to block, "would cause irreversible damage to one of the world's last intact salmon ecosystems," according to EPA regional administrator Dennis McLerran. The EPA produced analysis showing environmental damage it believes the mine would cause, which if accepted would bar the project.


GOP lawmakers have accused the Obama administration of blocking the project, which would be the world's largest open-pit mine, without scientific support for its opposition. Those charges were fueled by failed efforts to subpoena a former EPA official and Alaska-based biologist whose emails seem to show the bid to get the Pebble Mine project killed dated back to 2009. Those emails — and memos indicating government officials worked early on with tribal leaders and environmental groups to oppose the venture — raised questions about the agency's claims that when it ultimately vetoed the gold-and-copper mine project, it did so based on scientific evidence.


The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee sought to subpoena the EPA employee, Phillip North, but was told his whereabouts were unknown. In an echo of the controversy involving disappearing emails and hard drives at the IRS, the EPA told lawmakers it could not provide the emails a congressional committee has requested because an employee’s hard drive crashed.


EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy confirmed to the House Oversight Committee last month that her staff is unable to provide lawmakers all of the documents they have requested on the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska, because of a 2010 computer crash.


“We’re having trouble getting the data off of it and we’re trying other sources to actually supplement that,” McCarthy said. “We’re challenged in figuring out where those small failures might have occurred and what caused them occur, but we’ve produced a lot of information.”



A fishy tale...

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