More than 800 people attended a community meeting in Craig last night on the recent court order granting the federal Office of Surface Mining (OSM) 120 days to correct alleged defects in a permit under which the Colowyo Mine in northwest Colorado has operated lawfully for the past eight years. This erroneous decision, which retroactively requires the development of an Environmental Assessment of the impacts of coal generation at the point if end use by the utility (and which has nothing to do with the impacts from mining operations), threatens not only the 220 jobs at this mine, but other businesses and industries throughout the state. Even a temporary shut down over an alleged technical oversight by a government agency would not only be harmful to northwest Colorado, it would constitute a failure of the system of laws and regulations under which mines operate.
OSM is holding an open house June 10 to receive comment on the environmental study it will be required to perform to comply with the court order. Comments on the EA are due June 15 and all CMA members are urged to comment! Let’s Keep the Mine Open!