Interior Department Lets Appeal Deadline Pass

department-of-interiorYesterday’s deadline for the Interior Department to file for an appeal of a judge’s ruling against the Office of Surface Mining over an extraction permit issued to ColoWyo Coal Mine nearly a decade ago has come and gone. The OSM is preparing a new Environmental Assessment of the South Taylor Pit, after the judge said the office didn’t do enough to consider the impacts burning coal would have on the environment. The ruling, if it stands, will set a new precedent by requiring coal mines to consider what happens many steps after the coal leaves the mine. It also sets a precedent of being able to go back several years to question an environmental assessment. Both could have significant impacts on past projects that have required federal permitting. Moffat County Commissioner John Kinkaid was in Washington D.C. last week, and said a deputy director in the Interior Department told him an appeal would not be filed. Kinkaid said he got the impression that was due to the department’s confidence they would finish the assessment in the time allotted. However, there are those that believe the Department is willing to take a loss to further President Obama’s anti-coal agenda.

Comments are closed.