Two environmental organizations say they will continue fighting first large project in the U.S.
An administrative law judge in Salt Lake City has ruled against two environmental organizations that are trying to block a Canadian company’s plan to open the first large-scale oil sands mine in the United States.
Judge Sandra Allen sided with U.S. Oil Sands and Utah’s Division of Water Quality in deciding that the state rightfully granted the Calgary-based company permission to mine and process oils sands without requiring a pollution permit or water monitoring at the PR Spring mining site in eastern Utah.
The judge agreed with the Water Quality Division’s opinion that there is so little ground water within 1,500 feet of the surface of the proposed mine that additional safeguards weren’t needed.
“Substantial evidence . . . supports a finding that ground water has not been located and may be assumed absent in the project area except for a deep regional aquifer,” Allen said in her 40-page recommendation released Tuesday afternoon.
“The PR Spring facility and operations will have no more than a de minimis (minimal) actual or potential effect on ground water quality.”