Environmental news from around the state and the West.
—by Amy Brunvand
Public comments due on Alton Coal Mine
Alton Coal Development LLC operates a strip mine near Bryce Canyon. Uncovered coal trucks from the mine rumble though the town of Panguitch covering everything in a layer of dust, and the mine has been cited for a number of environmental violations—including dumping untreated wastewater into a creek, failing to do environmental restoration and damaging sage grouse habitat.
The company says all this is perfectly normal for coal mines and is asking for BLM approval to expand into 3,500 acres of public lands. The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance says BLM should say no because mine expansion “would pollute the air, flood Bryce Canyon’s world-famous dark night skies with light, degrade the habitat and health of wildlife such as the imperiled sage grouse, lower water quality, and mar one of the most majestic landscapes in the world.”
Alton Coal Tract Lease public comment period ends August, 11, 2015.
More August 2015 Environews: