Description: Challenge to mining plan modification for Montana coal mine.
WildEarth Guardians v. Zinke
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 06/08/2017 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Environmental Groups Filed NEPA Challenge of Montana Coal Mine Expansion. WildEarth Guardians and Montana Environmental Information Center filed a lawsuit in the federal district court for the District of Montana challenging the approval of a mining plan modification for the Spring Creek Mine in southeastern Montana, the seventh largest coal strip-mine by production in the United States. The plaintiffs asserted that the federal defendants had violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by failing to fully disclose the environmental impacts of coal mining, including the indirect effects of coal transportation, air pollution and greenhouse gas pollution from coal combustion, and the cumulative impacts of another mining plan modifications and a separate coal lease at the mine. The plaintiffs also said the underlying coal lease might be void as a matter of law because it was approved by a field manager who did not have authority to approve the lease.