August 01, 2019

Chairs DeFazio, Napolitano Respond to EPA’s Decision to Streamline Approval for Pebble Mine

Washington, D.C. – Today, Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Chair of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA) responded to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to withdraw the proposed determination under Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act for the use of the Pebble Mine project in Alaska.

“We have serious concerns about the shell game the Trump administration is playing to approve the Pebble Mine Project,” said the Members. “If approved, this would be the largest open pit mine ever constructed in North America, and could conservatively generate almost 12 billion gallons of contaminated wastewater every year for the foreseeable future. The Administration is once again putting private industry wants at the top of its agenda, risking the health and safety of our nation’s ecosystem and the destruction of the nation’s most productive salmon habitat. The proposed location of this mine is one of the last pristine environments remaining in the nation, and its protection is critical to local native villages, to the fishers and businesses that rely on the salmon run for their livelihood, and to future generations. A project of this size and impact must require a comprehensive review, and this Administration appears to be either knowingly or negligently obscuring the true scale of this project to expedite its approval. We plan to hold hearings in the fall to expose the risks of this stunning reversal in policy.”

In July 2018, DeFazio and Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Ranking Member Tom Carper (D-DE) sent a letter requesting an update on EPA’s environmental review of the proposed Pebble Mine project in Alaska, among other things. That letter can be found here.