Murkowski Reacts to EPA’s Pebble Announcement

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today issued the following statement after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it would suspend its withdrawal of proposed restrictions on the Pebble project in southwest Alaska. EPA announced its decision after an extensive public process that included an extended comment period and meetings with local stakeholders.

“Administrator Pruitt is taking a balanced approach by allowing Pebble to enter the permitting process, while noting EPA’s duty to fully protect the region’s world-class fisheries,” Murkowski said. “With the company now having filed its application, I expect that a fair, rigorous, and transparent process will soon begin so that Alaskans can understand the impacts and risks, as well as the potential benefits associated with this project.”

EPA initially proposed its preemptive mining restrictions in July 2014. The agency proposed to withdraw those restrictions in July 2017.

Murkowski, the Chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, worked with EPA to extend the comment period on its proposed withdrawal by 90 days. This was necessary to ensure that all Alaskan stakeholders, including commercial fishermen, would have an opportunity to weigh in. The agency also conducted public meetings in Dillingham and Iliamna in October 2017.