HELENA – Two environmental groups are suing to block expansion of the Spring Creek coal mine in Montana.
Northern Plains Resource Council and the Western Organization of Resource Councils filed the lawsuit Thursday in federal court, naming Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and the U.S. Office of Surface Mining as defendants.
The groups claim the Interior Department did not seek public input through an environmental review before approving the expansion. They also say Cloud Peak Energy has reclaimed very little of the land already disturbed from its existing mining operations.
New Mexico-based WildEarth Guardians also is suing to stop the Spring Creek mining. Attorney General Tim Fox has intervened in that lawsuit, saying blocking the mining would deprive the state of millions of dollars.