Tribes, environmental groups sue to stop mine in Alaskan salmon spawning areas


Five native, business and environmental organizations sued the Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday over a proposed controversial Alaska gold and copper mine that the Trump administration has backed after it reversed an Obama-era decision that stopped the project due to environmental concerns.

On Tuesday the five groups, representing 31 tribes and tribal governments as well as a seafood development association and hundreds of commercial fishing interests, all sued the EPA in federal court in Anchorage, Alaska, over the administration’s lifting of the Obama EPA 2014 Clean Water Act protections. The Trump administration in late July lifted the Obama EPA’s roadblock on the massive proposed Pebble mine, allowing the project to largely move forward towards the permitting process.
The area the mine is proposed in Bristol Bay is a sensitive and pristine watershed that is home to one of the world’s last and largest wild salmon spawning areas, nurturing a vast quantity of salmon fished and consumed in the world, and sustaining millions of fishermen and native populations across the northwest.
The Obama EPA spent years studying the proposed mining project, then took the unusual decision to essentially stop the project before it could apply for a permit.