Colowyo assessment does not need second approval from judge
On Sept. 4 the U.S. Department of Interior signed off on the new mining plan for Colowyo Coal Mine but there was still confusion on whether or not it would go back to court for Judge R. Brooke Jackson’s approval.
In short, it will not — unless the plaintiff, WildEarth Guardians, takes the new environmental assessment back to court by amending its original claim or filing a new one, said Professor Mark Squillace, director of the Natural Resources Law Center at the University of Colorado Boulder.
In that situation, it would be the beginning of a new round of litigation, he said.
“It certainly would be a different animal from what’s already transpired. It would have to be based upon the inadequacy of the documents that have now been filed,” Squillace said.
Squillace explained that by completing the new environmental assessment within the 120 days given by the court, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement had satisfied the judge’s May order.
“That should be the end of the story,” he said.
Any further proceedings on the issue would have to be initiated by the plaintiff, WildEarth Guardians.
“They would have to basically claim that whatever OSM did was not adequate, that it was flawed in some fashion,” Squillace said.
Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association owns Colowyo, and the company’s spokesperson Lee Boughey wrote in an email that Tri-State is “confident the federal government has met the requirements of the judge’s order and that mining operations can continue.”
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Now in his fourth month as a Routt County Commissioner, Tim Redmond has yet to participate in a meeting held in the old courtroom on the third floor of the historic Routt…