On October 31, Ramaco announced they will appeal a decision made this month by the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality. The DEQ denied the company's permit application for a coal mine in Sheridan. The state agency said the company's proposed Brook Mine application was deficient and needed more information on hydrology, subsidence, and blasting schedules, among other concerns.
Bob LeResche, chair of the Powder River Basin Resource Council, said this appeal shows Ramaco is trying to avoid fixing their application.
“So, there’s going to be more rounds of technical legal arguments rather than writing a new study of hydrology and figuring out how to avoid subsidence and fix their blasting plan,” he said.
In a press release, Ramaco’s CEO Randy Atkins called the appeal "procedurally necessary" and said they will address all the alleged deficiencies outlined by the DEQ. More of Atkins' statement is below.
"Ramaco Carbon has strived to always be a good steward of Wyoming’s air, water and soil. We will continue to work with Wyoming’s various state agencies for this job creating, environmentally sound project. The EQC appeal is simply procedurally necessary, due to the judicial process. We will address all of the alleged deficiencies raised by the EQC in a manner that the State of Wyoming wants. With that said, Ramaco also looks forward to working with the Wyoming DEQ in its continuing process of review, and hopeful issuance, of our Brook Mine permit. These new jobs are important to Wyoming’s diversification and future toward advanced manufacturing of coal based products."
The Powder River Basin Resource Council also released a short press statement with comments from LeResche:
“Instead of tilting at legal windmills, it would benefit everyone more if Ramaco put its time and resources into actually fixing the serious deficiencies in its coal mine permit application," said Powder River Basin Resource Council Chair Bob LeResche.
"This appeal tells the residents of the Tongue River Valley and the rest of us in Sheridan County that the company isn’t concerned with protecting the important water resources and quality of life of the valley, but instead just wants to push forward with its deficient plan for a coal mine, regardless of the consequences to local citizens," he added.