Judge Rules ColoWyo Permits Obtained Without Proper Procedure

coalOn Friday, U.S. District Judge R. Brooke Jackson ruled against the Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) in a lawsuit challenging the mining permits issued for Colowyo Mine and Trapper Mine. The lawsuit was brought forth by WildEarth Guardians, claiming that the permits were issued without proper procedure. Tri-State Generation and Transmission has issued a statement saying they are disappointed in the judge’s decision and that they are reviewing the order to evaluate their options. Colowyo Mine employs 220 people and contributes more than $200 million to the regional economy. Mining operations contribute an estimated $12 million to local, state and federal tax coffers. The decision, if it stands, could threaten the employment of many of those workers. Craig Station employees could also be affected, as the plant relies on coal from ColoWyo. Recognizing the potential devastating effect of the decision on Colowyo Mine, its employees and the northwest Colorado community, the judge delayed vacating Colowyo’s mining permit for 120 days to allow the OSM to address the deficiencies in the permitting process that were identified in the order. If those issues haven’t been addressed by that time, mining operations at ColoWyo will be ordered to cease.

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