Judge OKs Trapper Coal Mine Environmental Review

September 14, 2015
Photo: Trapper Mine near Craig, Colorado
A backhoe dumps coal into a haul truck at Trapper Mine near Craig, Colo. The coal is taken to a crusher behind Craig Station, a coal-fired power plant, to begin the process of turning it into energy. 

Judge R. Brooke Jackson issued an order Monday accepting a deal negotiated by the Trapper Mine, environmentalists and regulators that calls for a review to be done by the end of April with monthly status updates from the mine.

WildEarth Guardians went to court to challenge the permits for both the Trapper and Colowyo mines, arguing the government didn't give enough public notice and didn't seriously consider the environmental effects, including the climate change impacts of burning coal.

Jackson agreed but only ordered a new review for the Colowyo Mine because Trapper said most of the coal at issue had already been mined. Lawyers later said there was still more left because of permit changes.