Environmental groups have gone to court in an attempt to block an industrial gold mine being developed north of Yellowstone National Park. The suit was filed in a challenge to the approval granted by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality to Lucky Minerals, a company in Canada.
The Greater Yellowstone Coalition and Park County Environmental Council, represented by Earthjustice filed the lawsuit.
“Lucky Minerals wants to gamble with our water, wildlife and magnificent natural landscapes but our laws don’t allow such risky bets,” said Jenny Harbine, an attorney for Earthjustice. “Exploratory drilling is the leading edge of a much larger threat to these sensitive lands n Yellowstone’s gateway, and we will fight Lucky’s plan every step of the way.”
Montana’s DEQ approved the exploratory drilling in July after concluding it would not cause any significant environmental harm.
Earthjustice and the two environmental groups claim the state DEQ violated law when it okayed the project without considering the significant harm to Park County’s environment and economy from full-scale mine development or accounting for the potentially serious impacts on wildlife including grizzly bears and wolverines.