Anchorage, Alaska (KINY) The U.S Environmental Protection Agency won't withdraw planned regulations that might have made it easier for the Pebble Mine project to get needed permits.
The Pebble Limited Partnership wants to build a copper and gold mine in the Bristol Bay region. The EPA was to begin a process to eliminate restrictions imposed by the Obama Administration until Friday.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt released a statement that any mining projects in this area would likely pose a risk to the abundant natural resources that exist there. "Until we know the full extent of that risk, those natural resources and world-class fisheries deserve the utmost protection."
The EPA statement means the project must clear a high bar and will face close scrutiny.
About half of the world's sockeye salmon is produced by Bristol Bay, the EPA has said.
Pebble Partnership Officials said they will continue undeterred. They have filed a permit application with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which also triggered an environmental review of the project.