Alaska Native corporation joins effort to halt Pebble mine

A Native corporation representing thousands of shareholders in the Bristol Bay region has joined six tribes and some fishing groups in asking the federal Environmental Protection Agency to deploy a rarely used provision of federal law to stop the Pebble copper and gold project.

The Bristol Bay Native Corp. said Thursday that it has sent a letter to the EPA asking the agency to use its authority under the Clean Water Act to prohibit the discharge of dredged or fill material from Pebble if the massive ore deposit worth billions of dollars is developed into a mine.

The company requested a prohibition of such discharges on state land at the headwaters of the Kvichak and Nushagak rivers, where the Pebble mine claims are located.

The companies advancing Pebble need permission to discharge dredged materials -- rock waste, especially -- to build and operate a mine.

Recently, Alaska U.S. Rep. Don Young introduced a bill that would strip the EPA of its authority to put a place off-limits to the disposal of dredge and fill material.

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