JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A regional U.S. Environmental Protection Agency official says the company that wants to build a copper and gold mine near a major Alaska salmon fishery should have to clear a high bar given the fishery's cultural and economic importance.
Chris Hladick says EPA will try to get protections it believes are necessary into the permit being sought by the Pebble Limited Partnership.
Last year, in a legal settlement with Pebble, EPA agreed to initiate a process to withdraw restrictions on development proposed during the Obama administration.
But the agency halted plans to withdraw the proposed restrictions last month, citing concerns with project risks.
Hladick says he has not reviewed the permit application that Pebble filed with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Hladick is a former Alaska commerce commissioner.