A federal judge has been asked to block the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from continuing a process that could lead to the veto of the proposed Pebble Mine, pending the outcome of litigation.
The group behind the project, the Pebble Limited Partnership, and the Alaska Peninsula Corp. filed the motion last week as part of their lawsuit against EPA.
EPA earlier this year concluded that large-scale mining in the Bristol Bay watershed posed significant risks to salmon. It then initiated a process that could result in development of the project being restricted or prohibited.
Critics fear the agency will veto the project before mine plans are finalized or permits are sought.