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Blackjewel Permit to Remain in Limbo as Mines’ Outlook Worsens

Coal News - Published on Fri, 19 Jul 2019

Image Source: WVLT
County17 reported that the Environmental Quality Council last week voted to delay a decision on who holds mining permits for the Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr mines pending further clarity regarding Blackjewel’s chaotic bankruptcy. At a brief meeting on July 10, the Department of Environmental Quality’s citizen oversight board voted unanimously to adopt a wait-and-see approach until the bankruptcy proceeding advanced further or until a bankruptcy judge says they could proceed. Council members were concerned the bankruptcy could interfere with their authority to make a final decision on the mine permit.

Council member Dr David Bagley said that “Things are so up in the air that let’s see what happens. Let’s come back to this when we have some more clarity.”

Currently, the permits are held by Contura Energy. The DEQ initially approved transfer of the permits to Blackjewel but the citizen council delayed that decision in May following objections by a landowner group.

With Blackjewel’s sudden bankruptcy and the possibility of the mines closing permanently, the decision by a little-watched public body took on sudden importance for the state. Typically whoever holds the mine permits is on the hook for reclaiming the disturbed landscape. If the two large strip mines stay closed Wyoming may be better off pursuing those reclamation obligations from a solvent company - Contura - than the insolvent Blackjewel.

Source :

Posted By : Sanju Moirangthem on Fri, 19 Jul 2019
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