Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Colowyo still mining coal one year later

A year ago this week, a federal judge issued a ruling that would send shockwaves through Northwest Colorado. Judge R. Brooke Jackson sided with environmental group WildEarth Guardians on its claim that the Office of Surface Mining did not comply with federal law when it approved mining plans for Colowyo and Trapper mines. As a result, he ordered OSMRE to complete a new, revamped environmental assessment for Colowyo’s South Taylor Pit or the mine’s permit would be revoked — shutting down the mine and displacing 220 employees. The news shook residents of Craig, Meeker and Moffat and Rio Blanco counties — who depend on the mines for economic stability — while making national headlines. As the 120-day countdown progressed, the community swelled with support for the mine and though the Interior Department decided not to appeal the judge’s ruling, it vowed to meet his deadline, which it did. But the story was far from finished. About a month before Colowyo cleared its name, Trapper was thrown back into the ring...more

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