Sources: EPA chief McCarthy to visit proposed Alaska mine site

E&E News first reported McCarthy’s scheduled trip to the site. The EPA did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

The possible visit comes as some congressional Democrats have lined up against the mine, while Republicans have taken issue with how the EPA is assessing the potential mine.

If built, the copper-and-gold mine floated by developers Anglo American and Northern Dynasty would be the third largest in the world. Mine critics say it will threaten the habitat of nearly half the world’s sockeye salmon.

The EPA’s actions regarding the mine were the subject of a July House hearing, as Republicans in both the House and the Senate have raised concerns about how EPA is evaluating the proposed mine.

Industry and GOP lawmakers say the EPA is moving to issue a “preemptive” veto for a critical permit, as the Pebble Partnership hasn’t yet submitted a formal blueprint for the mine.

A preliminary EPA report said the mine would destroy salmon runs. Critics charged that the agency used unrealistic parameters for the mine, and argue that nixing the permit before the developers formally file a plan could cool investment near waterways.

But opponents, which include commercial fishermen, environmentalists and some native tribes, contend the EPA has plenty of information to assess the mine’s impact.

They say the developers have submitted filings to the Securities and Exchange Commission and other documentation that indicate the size and scope of the mine.