JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A U.S. House subcommittee chairman has concerns with a federal study of the potential effects of mining in the Bristol Bay region.

U.S. Rep. Paul Broun of Georgia says if the Environmental Protection Agency uses the study to preemptively veto mining permits, the assessment's scientific credibility "will need to be beyond reproach." He says that's not the case now, noting, among other things, questions that have been raised by Alaska's attorney general about EPA's process and the potential for EPA to reach "unreliable conclusions."

Broun, who chairs a House science subcommittee on investigations and oversight, made his comments in a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.

EPA plans to use recommendations from an independent scientific panel to help determine if there are areas of concern or that need additional analysis.