Officials at Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. have announced U.S. federal court justices are dismissing the case by the Pebble Ltd. Partnership and the state of Alaska challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority to impose restrictions on the Pebble project before a development plan. A final EPA decision is pending.

“The ruling relates to timing of this pre-emptive authority and in no way decides underlying issues,” said Pebble CEO Tom Collier. “We remain confident in this case; should (the) EPA finalize veto restrictions, we will pursue our claim that EPA lacks statutory authority to do so at that time.”

Northern Dynasty CEO Ron Thiessen added, “Today’s ruling has nothing to do with legality of our position, and is a decision on timing; the court is saying until the EPA makes a final decision you haven’t been affected.”

The Pebble Partnership has a second case pending in U.S. court charging EPA officials with not complying with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) in preparing the Bristol Bay Assessment study, upon which the Section 404(c) regulatory process is largely based. The FACA case, seeking to enjoin EPA from issuing its final veto, is unrelated.