Pebble Fights Back, Files Federal Lawsuits Against EPA Actions

Pebble Fights Back, Files Federal Lawsuits Against EPA Actions

March 15, 2024

This morning, what many had hoped would transpire for months happened.  The company behind the Pebble Project – one of the world’s largest resource development opportunities – filed suits in two federal courts.

The first seeks to have the court overturn the EPA’s pre-emptive veto and re-start Pebble’s permitting process. The second, which the Pebble developers say should be held until the first is decided, seeks damages due to the EPA actions’ effectively taking Pebble’s property from the developers and the State of Alaska.

In a corresponding press release, Northern Dynasty Minerals’ President and CEO, Ron Thiessen, noted the EPA’s actions – which many have mentioned were outside its scope and counter to its authorities – necessitated the response:

“Whatever authority the EPA may have under section 404(c), the general provision in the Clean Water Act cannot authorize the EPA to take action to block the specific economic activity that was Congress’s express purpose for granting these lands to the State of Alaska under the Cook Inlet Land Exchange,” Ron Thiessen, Northern Dynasty President and CEO, stated.  “It cannot authorize the EPA to override the State’s regulatory preferences for the lands, or the State’s preference to allow modest use of some streams and wetlands in the vicinity of the Deposit to facilitate the extraction of the valuable critical minerals. This is just another example of gross EPA overreach of the powers granted to it by Congress.”

Power The Future applauds Pebble’s ownership group for its legal engagements today. Having visited the proposed site numerous times, talked with the Alaskans set to benefit most from the project and learned about the support for the project from villages closest to the project, we understand Pebble’s potential generational impacts.  Those, coupled with a clean Final Environmental Impact Statement that was issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, makes Pebble worth fighting for.

We’ll continue to track Pebble and bring updates as they occur.  For today, though, the clear winners are rational, pro-science Alaskans who understand the difference between good process and bad politics.