Pruitt Eyes Yielding Some EPA Power Over Mining, Development

Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt is proposing to yield some of the agency’s veto power over mining and other development.

The EPA released Pruitt’s proposal Wednesday.

The Clean Water Act allows the EPA to veto permits issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that allow companies to dump waste into waterways. Pruitt is directing his agency to look at surrendering its authority to exercise that veto before permits are applied for or after they’re approved.

Pruitt says EPA veto power over dumping waste into waterways could “chill economic growth.” He cites Obama-era EPA decisions on Alaska’s proposed Pebble Mine. Developers there want to mine gold and copper near a salmon fishery.

Kyla Bennett of the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility accuses Pruitt of shirking his environmental duty.

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