San Juan County gets behind coal mine project

December 24, 2011 • State News

AZTEC, N.M. (AP) — San Juan County lawmakers are getting behind [auth] the county’s largest private employer by asking a federal agency to approve further development at Navajo Mine.

The Daily Times ( ) reports the County Commission this week passed a resolution urging the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement to approve further mining development.

BHP Navajo Coal Company started trying to stretch mine operations south in 2005.

A judge halted the initial development in 2010 after two local environment groups filed a lawsuit against the project. A scaled-down version of the original project is in a public-comment phase until Jan. 17.

Navajo Mine is southeast of Fruitland and has operated since 1957. The Navajo Nation owns the lands and leases it to BHP Navajo Coal Company.

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