ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - The head of the Environmental Protection Agency says approval of an application for an Alaska mine will not be his decision.
Alaska Public Media reported Thursday that EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler has recused himself from deliberations over Pebble Mine due to past work at a law firm hired by the project.
Wheeler has left the decision to the EPA's top lawyer.
Wheeler spoke about easing industry regulations at a Resource Development Council luncheon in Anchorage Tuesday.
Bristol Bay fishing communities have campaigned against the proposed gold and copper mine in southwest Alaska for more than a decade.
Other Alaskans including some from villages close to the site say they would welcome the jobs.
The EPA can veto Pebble's application, even if the Army Corps of Engineers approves the project.
Information from: KSKA-FM, http://www.kska.org
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