Thursday, May 2, 2013

Forest Service reverses OK on SUFCO coal mine expansion

A federal appeals officer has reversed a U.S. Forest Service decision that would have enabled the latest Sufco mine expansion proposed by Utah’s largest coal producer. Operator Ark Land Co., a subsidiary of Arch Coal, is seeking permission to expand its lease by 20 acres to extract up to 400,000 tons that would otherwise be inaccessible at its mine east of Salina.

But underground operations would have caused subsidence over a much wider area, according to the Utah Environmental Congress, the Salt Lake City group that challenged the January decision by Fishlake National Forest Supervisor Allen Rowley. The group contends the forest failed to study impacts beyond the 20 acres covered in the lease modification. Salt Lake Tribune