District Court Finds Partnership May Have Case Against EPA “Anti-mine Assessment Team”


On November 25, 2014, the U.S. District Court for Alaska granted a preliminary injunction enjoining and restraining EPA and the EPA Regional Administrator from taking any actions under their authority under Section 404c of the Clean Water Act regarding the proposed mining project of the Pebble Limited Partnership in the Bristol Bay watershed. The project is very controversial; it will require an Army Corps of Engineers permit that will itself be subject to EPA oversight. No permit application has been filed, but EPA argues that it has authority under the CWA to take its own preemptive action to halt the project. The Pebble Limited Partnership has alleged that EPA’s association with a number of public interests groups that oppose this project violates the Federal Advisory Committee Act. EPA and DOJ vigorously dispute these allegations, but the District Court has now ruled that Pebble Limited Partnership may have a case with respect to a group that the court calls the “anti-mine assessment team” A fairly quick resolution of the controversy is promised by the District Court. The case is Pebble Limited Partnership v. EPA.