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Environmentalists Prevail In Spring Creek Mine Lawsuit

Court news

Three environmental groups prevailed in a lawsuit challenging expansion of the Spring Creek mine near Decker.

U.S. District Judge Susan Watters ruled today that the preliminary work for the Spring Creek expansion wasn’t properly done, and gave the Interior Department 8 months to correct their mistakes. Spring Creek was on track for a 117 million ton expansion.

Waters said Interior failed to properly analyze the proposed expansion, and to adequately inform the public about it.

Jeremy Nichols with Wild Earth Guardians, one of the plaintiffs, says that the errors made in this expansion plan are not uncommon.

“This is a huge deal, and what it signaled is that there are some major problems in the way the our federal government manages our publicly owned coal deposits. And that was really the genesis of this litigation.”

Nichols says that Wild Earth Guardians are continuing to look into mines and expansions in the West for the same problems.

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