The Environmental Protection Agency informed the Army Corps of Engineers via letter that despite serious concerns about the Pebble Mine’s environmental impacts, the agency will not formally object to the controversial project. If EPA had opted to formally “elevate” its concerns to higher levels of the Fish and Wildlife Service as well as EPA itself, it would have slowed down the final approval process. In mid-2019, the EPA overturned an Obama-era ban on the proposed huge open-pit copper and gold mine, on the significant chances it would degrade thousands of square acres of wilderness, and damage the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery. “If the Corps grants the permit, the EPA has the authority to veto it, but mine opponents say the new letter makes that look less likely,” reported Alaska Public Media. “Pebble Limited Partnership thinks so, too.” Environmentalists and locals, including more than a dozen Alaska Native tribes, have long fought to stop the project. Status: EPA released its required letter to the corps on May 28, 2020.