Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. reported that Judge H. Russell Holland for the U.S. Federal District Court of Alaska has granted the Pebble Limited Partnership’s request for a preliminary injunction in its litigation against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
“Although the decision is a procedural victory and does not resolve our claims that the EPA pursued a biased and predetermined 404c veto initiative against Pebble by not complying with the requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), the decision is important for several reasons,” said Tom Collier, CEO of the Pebble Partnership. “Specifically, the court has granted a preliminary injunction that blocks EPA from taking any further steps in the 404c regulatory process it has initiated at Pebble before Judge Holland is able to issue a final decision on the merits of our FACA case. We expect the case may take several months to complete. This means that, for first time, the EPA’s march to preemptively veto Pebble has been halted.”
Collier said Pebble raised concerns regarding FACA violations, including the EPA allegedly colluding with environmental activists to bring about a predetermined result before undertaking any scientific inquiry.
“The documents we have been able to review thus far disclose more than 500 contacts between the EPA and activists,” Collier said. “We fully expect that once we have access to all documents there may be many times that number.”
“We are heartened by this procedural ruling in Pebble’s favor, and look forward to the discovery process and the opportunity to fully argue the merits of our case before the court,” said Northern Dynasty President and CEO Ron Thiessen. “We continue to believe that Pebble is a mineral resource of national importance that deserves to be comprehensively reviewed by federal and state regulatory agencies under the National Environmental Policy Act and Clean Water Act.”