Washington, D.C. – Alaskan Congressman Don Young released this statement following the announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that it will initiate a review process under the Clean Water Act that could preemptively strike down the proposed Pebble Mine project, well before it enters the permitting process.
“I have always been clear about the severity of the EPA’s unwarranted involvement in the proposed Pebble Mine project, especially this early in the process,” said Congressman Don Young. “This expansive, jurisdictional power grab proposed by the EPA severely jeopardizes not only Alaska’s sovereignty, but the rights of states and all private property owners nationwide.
“Today’s announcement for review under section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act shows an agency corrupted by politics, one with no regard for the state or federal permitting processes found in statute. Instead, the EPA seeks to broaden its reach until their tentacles encumber every aspect of American life.
“My concern for this process is much bigger than the Pebble Mine, in my eyes this isn’t even about the Pebble Mine. For the EPA to preemptively oppose a project located entirely on state land, a project already subject to a rigorous state permitting process, is a serious threat to any future projects on State of Alaska, Alaska Native, or even individually owned private land.”
“Annually, the Army Corps of Engineers issues tens of thousands of 404 permits. These projects range from pipelines, electrical transmission lines, roads, railways, agriculture, renewable energy projects like wind and solar, to commercial construction projects, parking lots, and even home development. I will be very clear, this overstep by the EPA today could mean the loss of our state to the federal government.”