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EPA asks federal judge to toss Pebble lawsuit

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is asking a federal judge to dismiss as premature a lawsuit by the group behind the proposed Pebble Mine.

In a court filing, attorneys for the EPA say the agency has not made a final determination yet on potential restrictions on development on the Pebble deposit.

The Pebble Limited Partnership sued EPA earlier this year, alleging the agency had exceeded its authority by invoking a process through which it could restrict or prohibit development of the Pebble deposit before the project has gone through permitting.

Public comment is currently being taken on restrictions proposed by EPA that would not ban mining of the deposit but would essentially block the type of project the mine's owners have publicly discussed.

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