The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

EPA chief tells Congress that agency can't find some emails from Alaska biologist

  • Print

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.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Glenn January won't blame offensive line for first loss

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A pelican comes in for a landing Wednesday afternoon on the Red River at Lockport, Manitoba - Standup photo- June 27, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press. Local- Weather standup. Sundog. Refraction of light through ice crystals which caused both the sun dog and and fog along McPhillips Road early Wednesday morning. 071205.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you like Gord Steeves’ idea to sell four city-owned golf courses to fund road renewal?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google