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Alaska takes fight with EPA to the U.S. Supreme Court

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(The Center Square) – Alaska Attorney General Treg Taylor is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overrule an Environmental Protection Agency decision to ban mining in a portion of Southwest Alaska.

The EPA’s January decision prohibits the state from using some waters in Alaska’s Bristol Bay as “disposal of dredged and fill material associated with developing the Pebble deposit in certain waters.”

The decision is an overreach, Taylor said.

“If EPA can rely on undefined terms and subjective standards instead of sound science to bypass the regular State and federal permitting processes here, it can do it anywhere, from large mining projects such as this, down to a family building their dream home,” Taylor said in a news release. “It’s an indefensible and unprecedented power grab that the U.S. Supreme Court should find unlawful.”

Taylor said in his 91-page filing that Alaska is required to protect its natural resources.

“Our constitution is clear: Alaska is responsible for utilizing, developing, and conserving all of the State’s natural resources for the maximum benefit of its people,” said Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy. “Bureaucrats in Washington D.C. are exercising unbridled and unlawful power to choke off any further discussion on this important decision affecting so many Alaskans.”

The state is asking the court to set aside the EPA’s decision and declare it unlawful.

“An original action, where a case is heard directly by the Supreme Court instead of first progressing through the lower courts, is an extraordinary ask, but it’s appropriate given the extraordinary decision being challenged,” Taylor said.

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