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Information Network for Responsible Mining v. Colorado Mined Land Reclamation Board

ELR Citation: 49 ELR 20128
Nos. 18CA1148, (Colo. App., 07/25/2019) (Tow, J.)

A state appellate court reversed a judgment upholding the Colorado Mined Land Reclamation Board's order granting a uranium mining company's request for approval of a second period of temporary cessation. Environmental groups argued the lower court erred in affirming the Board's order because the order violated the Colorado Mined Land Reclamation Act by treating temporary cessation as a legal status rather than a factual one, and "reset" the effective date of that status. The appellate court agreed, finding that temporary cessation was a factual status under the Act and thus could not be "reset." It further held that because the company's period of temporary cessation had continued for more than 10 years, the Act required that the company cease operation of the mine and fully comply with reclamation requirements. The appellate court therefore reversed and remanded with directions to remand to the Board.