The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) preemptive assessment of the Pebble Mine in Alaska could have a “chilling effect” on $220 billion in investments, according to the Brattle Group, an economic and financial consulting firm.

In May, the EPA released its watershed assessment of large-scale mining by Pebble LP at Bristol Bay, which could be one of the largest copper and gold mines in the world, and expressed concerns over impact the mine would have on local salmon habitats and surrounding wetlands.

Under the Clean Water Act, operations that dump “dredge or fill materials” into wetlands, rivers, lakes, or streams are required to obtain a Section 404 permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The EPA can revoke this permit if there are “unacceptable adverse impacts on municipal water supplies, shellfish beds and fishery areas, wildlife, or recreational areas.”

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