The decision is a major victory for environmental organizations, as well as Alaska Native people, who have opposed the Pebble Mine project for more than a decade.
The farm is located in Bristol Bay, the region with the largest wild salmon fishing area in the world. The exceptional quality of river water and swamps provides an ideal habitat for this species of fish.
Colonel Damon Delarosa, commander of the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Alaska District, says the Pebble Limited Partnership’s waste disposal plan does not follow the recommendations of the Water Protection Act and that the project is “against the public interest.”
As early as 2014, under the Obama administration, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) tried to block the project, highlighting its negative consequences for local fishing. But the Trump administration has authorized Pebble Limited Partnership, a subsidiary of the Canadian Northern Dynasty Minerals group, to apply for an operating license.
In addition to environmental activists and indigenous peoples, close to the incumbent Republican president have opposed the project, starting with his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., who enjoys fishing in the Gulf of Bristol.
In August, President-elect Joe Biden spoke out against mining in the area, reiterating the Obama administration’s position. The mining company wants to appeal.