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EPA chief: Pebble Mine decision to be based on science, not popularity

By M.D. Kittle |

Posted 9/12/2013

MADISON – The Environmental Protection Agency’s new administrator last week assured residents of an Alaska town that’s ground zero in the battle over a mine of precious metals that the agency won’t let public pressure sway its decision.

Lisa Reimers, CEO of the Iliamna Development Corp., said new EPA director Gina McCarthy’s “fact-finding” visit to Iliamna was a good sign. The last EPA director, according to several community members, made no attempt to visit the proposed mine site or the people who call the remote country around Illiamna Lake home. Continue reading

Parnell orders investigation of mining raids

Posted 9/12/2013

Houston Chronicle

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Gov. Sean Parnell said Thursday he has ordered an investigation of recent raids by federal and state officials at mines in the Fortymile River area, saying he will not tolerate a state agency’s participation in the sort of conduct displayed.

Enforcement officers with the federal Environmental Protection Agency and Bureau of Land Management were armed and wore body armor, according to Parnell.

He said an investigator with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation joined the agents, who said they were looking for violations of the Clean Water Act. Parnell said no one was arrested and no one was cited. Continue reading

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