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EPA says it can't find some records on mine

Posted: June 26, 2014 - 12:09am

WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday it’s can’t find emails from a former biologist who was evaluating the impact of a large gold and copper mine proposed in southwest Alaska.

EPA administrator Gina McCarthy told a House oversight committee that the agency to date has been unable to recover some records the panel is seeking on the Pebble Mine project. The agency notified the National Archives and Records Administration of the missing emails on Tuesday, the same day its chief told Congress that the Internal Revenue Service had violated the law by not reporting a loss of records after an executive’s computer crashed.

“We have notified the appropriate authorities that we may have some emails that we cannot produce that we should have kept,” McCarthy said.

“We have no appreciation for failed hard drives,” said Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who chairs the oversight committee.

The agency, in its letter reporting the problem, said that it had no reason to believe the documents were intentionally destroyed. For nearly a year, the committee has sought to obtain the records or talk to Phil North, a biologist based in Alaska who retired from the agency in 2013. The agency has already turned over thousands of documents to the panel from North’s laptop, old computer, three external hard drives and files on the agency’s servers.

Republicans on the panel suggested that North was colluding to halt the project. The committee is investigating the rare use of EPA authority that could end up blocking or restricting the mine project, which would be located near the headwaters of a premier sockeye salmon fishery.

McCarthy said Wednesday North was not a decision-maker.

“We have notified the appropriate authorities that we may have some emails that we cannot produce that we should have kept,” McCarthy said.

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Bill Burk
12436
Points
Bill Burk 06/26/14 - 09:11 am
3
3
Pebble Beach Mine

Papers or NOT that mine should NEVER be allowed to open!

Steven Rosales
685
Points
Steven Rosales 06/26/14 - 05:29 pm
3
3
Billb

There was never any proof that this mine would cause damage. Thats why its important these emails are recovered and brought to light. I am a fisherman and fully support our fisheries but am not willing to unfairly judge another company and their operation without proper investigations done. This did not happen at Pebble. You can not have government intervention bases on bias by government employees. Thats not how government was designed. Same thing with the Louis Lerner IRS scandal. Just can not happen. Things have to be done black and white. What happened to this most transparent administration of all time?

Bill Burk
12436
Points
Bill Burk 06/26/14 - 05:37 pm
3
3
Steven

Of course you would feel the way you do. You and you Republican cronies are so against any and all things that are a benefit to this country and the great state of Alaska!

James Coleman
2025
Points
James Coleman 06/26/14 - 07:39 pm
3
2
Please list benefits..

Mr Burk, how do we benefit from censorship and bias of large government agencies with rogue employees? They threaten and intimidate with their unelected positions they hold. Silence anyone who disagrees. If you like this type of silencing and intimidation perhaps you should think of moving to Russia, China, N. Korea...

Bill Burk
12436
Points
Bill Burk 06/26/14 - 10:42 pm
2
1
James

The flow of the tailings water for the Pebble Beach has NO WHERE else to go but into Bristle Bay. If this were to happen then the most productive salmon fishing grounds in the world would be contaminated. Lost email or not this is a proven fact! There is no corruption to this fact!

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