Win for Clean Air, Climate in Colorado

May 4th, 2023: Earlier this week, the Gunnison County, Colorado District Court ruled in favor of Sierra Club and its allies in a lawsuit targeting the West Elk coal mine, the state's largest industrial source of climate-disrupting methane and a massive source of smog-forming pollutants. The order is the Club's latest victory at the West Elk mine, and comes on the heels of ten years of successful legal advocacy aimed at stopping the mine’s expansion into the Sunset Roadless Area and limiting its climate pollution.

The Court's Order, issued after the Sierra Club and other conservation groups sued to force the State to act on a long-overdue Title V Clean Air Act permit application, requires the State to issue a draft permit by June 1, provide a status report to the court July 14, and includes additional measures to ensure a final permit is issued as soon as practicable.  

The mine is located in the North Fork Valley on Colorado’s spectacular Western Slope. Among other protections, a final permit would ensure that methane mitigation measures at the mine, implemented only after Sierra Club's hard-won legal victories at the Tenth Circuit and in federal district court, become permanent and enforceable.