RBC I U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) said on Friday that he welcomed the U.S. Interior Department’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) announcement that Trapper Mine’s environmental assessment is completed and development of the mine located near Craig can continue.
The decision comes after Gardner and a number of other state and area elected officials repeatedly urged the Interior Department to finish the environmental assessment before its deadline of April 30.
“Trapper Mine is one of the largest employers in Northwest Colorado, qualifying it as an economic cornerstone of the region,” Gardner said. “I join Northwest Colorado in welcoming today’s announcement, which will allow operations to continue at Trapper Mine and preserve the jobs and livelihoods that depend on it.”
Trapper Mine’s permit was covered under the same environmental review that the U.S. District Court in Colorado deemed deficient for Coloywo Mine, but Trapper Mine was initially believed to be unaffected. Further review led to a negotiation with the OSMRE that required a new environmental assessment in order to keep Trapper Mine operational.
In December, Gardner joined Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Sen. Bennet (D-CO), and Rep. Scott Tipton (CO-3) in sending a letter to the Interior Department urging completion of the environmental assessment before its deadline.
Gardner and Tipton followed up with another letter on April 6, as the deadline neared.