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Lawsuit launched against DOI

AN ENVIRONMENTAL group has filed a lawsuit against the US government alleging that seven mining approvals issued by the Department of Interior are illegal.

Staff Reporter
Lawsuit launched against DOI

WildEarth Guardians’ complaint, filed in the US District Court in Colorado, challenges the DOI’s failure to provide any public notice or opportunity for public comment on the mining plans before approving them.

The approvals are for federally owned coal at seven coal mines in New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming and Montana which would allow companies to dig up a combined 1.3 billion tons of coal across the Rocky Mountain West.

The group seeks to halt coal mining operations at these mines until public consultation is conducted.

“The public has taken a back seat to the demands of coal companies in the Rocky Mountain West,” WildEarth Guardians climate and energy program director Jeremy Nichols said.

“With no transparency, we have no guarantee that coal mining in the Rockies is safeguarding our environment, protecting our communities and that it’s actually in the public interest.”

The approvals were issued between 2007 and 2012.

The mines named in the lawsuit are the San Juan mine in New Mexico; Colowyo and Trapper mines in Colorado; Black Thunder, Cordero Rojo and School Creek mines in Wyoming; and Spring Creek mine in Montana.

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