Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Environmentalists appeal state approval of tar sands mine

An environmental group opposing a tar sands mine planned for eastern Utah’s Book Cliffs on Monday filed an appeal based on water quality fears and asked the state to rescind its approval. The Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining approved the permit two weeks ago, allowing Calgary, Alberta-based Earth Energy Resources to dig up bitumen-laced rock and soil near the boundary between Uintah and Grand counties. At first just 62 acres in Uintah, the project is meant to expand and operate in both counties.

The Moab-based group Living Rivers had until Monday to appeal Oil, Gas and Mining Division Director John Baza’s decision to the division’s board, and it did so with help from attorneys at Western Resource Advocates. Division spokesman Jim Springer said board appeals can take six months to a year to yield a decision. The Salt Lake Tribune