Northern Dynasty files two actions in federal courts

18th March 2024 By: Creamer Media Reporter

Northern Dynasty files two actions in federal courts

Northern Dynasty Minerals and its US-based subsidiary Pebble Limited Partnership have filed two separate actions in the federal courts challenging government’s actions to prevent companies from building a mine at the Pebble project, in Alaska.

In one action, Northern Dynasty turned to the Federal District Court in Alaska to vacate the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) veto of a development at Pebble and allow permitting of the project to resume.

The company argues that the veto violated the law and was arbitrary and capricious.

“Whatever authority the EPA may have under section 404(c), the general provision in the Clean Water Act cannot authorise the EPA to take action to block the specific economic activity that was Congress’s express purpose for granting these lands to the State of Alaska under the Cook Inlet Land Exchange,” said president and CEO Ron Thiessen

“It cannot authorise the EPA to override the state’s regulatory preferences for the lands, or the state’s preference to allow modest use of some streams and wetlands in the vicinity of the Deposit to facilitate the extraction of the valuable critical minerals. This is just another example of gross EPA overreach of the powers granted to it by Congress.”

In its second court action, Northern Dynasty will file a case in the United States Court of Federal Claims in Washington, DC, claiming that the actions by the EPA constitute an unconstitutional “taking” of property.

The company will ask the court to defer considering this action until the EPA veto case has been resolved.

“Our priority is to advance the District Federal Court Complaint, because overturning the illegal veto removes a major impediment from the path of getting the permit to build the proposed mine,” said Thiessen.

“The filing of the takings complaint puts the US government on notice that we will be seeking very substantial compensation if they continue to illegally block the lawful permitting process. It is basically an insurance policy, ensuring that this case is available to us when, or if, we decide to pursue it further,” he continued.

The state of Alaska will also be filing similar actions in Federal District Court in Alaska and the United States Court of Federal Claims in Washington, DC.