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US authorities block Alaska mine to save salmon fisheries

Published on Mar 1, 2014 10:29 AM
 

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US environmental authorities made a rare move to block a massive copper and gold mine in Alaska before it even gets under way, in a bid to protect wild salmon.

The Pebble Mine project has the potential to be one of the biggest open pit copper mines, but once built, it could threaten the exceptionally rich salmon fishery in the Bristol Bay area, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) explained in a statement on Friday.

"Extensive scientific study has given us ample reason to believe that the Pebble Mine would likely have significant and irreversible negative impacts on the Bristol Bay watershed and its abundant salmon fisheries," said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.

The EPA action could lead to an unprecedented federal ban on a mining project before the company behind it even puts in a permit request.

 
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