Washington senator asks EPA to block Pebble

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- A Washington senator says she opposes a huge copper and gold mine project near Bristol Bay in southwest Alaska if the mine would harm the region's wild salmon runs and put fishery jobs at risk.

Democratic U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell sent a letter Monday to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson expressing her support of the agency's decision to conduct a thorough analysis of large-scale mining in Bristol Bay.

Cantwell is calling on the EPA to use the Clean Water Act, if necessary, to protect Bristol Bay, as first reported by McClatchy Newspapers.

Two mining companies have spent hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years scoping out the Pebble Mine deposit. The mine is being prepared for permitting.