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Glenwood Springs Citizens' Alliance Files Lawsuit Against Bureau Of Land Management

Mar 10, 2020

Rocky Mountain Industrials' operations at the Mid-Continent Quarry just outside of Glenwood Springs.
Credit Molly Dove / Aspen Public Radio

The Glenwood Springs Citizens’ Alliance filed a lawsuit Monday against the Bureau of Land Management, arguing the federal agency has failed to regulate mining activity at the Mid-Continent Quarry outside of Glenwood Springs.

The lawsuit claims the Bureau of Land Management has allowed Rocky Mountain Industrials, the operator of the Mid-Continent Quarry, to mine and sell certain types of limestone that are not allowed under the company’s federal permit. 

The lawsuit asks the federal court to bar the Bureau of Land Management from allowing further mining at the quarry until the federal agency comes into compliance with the federal law. 

“When it comes to Rocky Mountain Industrials, [the Bureau of Land Management] is ignoring the federal laws that govern mining on public lands,” Jeff Peterson, the executive director of the Glenwood Springs Citizens’ Alliance, said in a press release. “[The Bureau of Land Management] is allowing [Rocky Mountain Industrials] to mine limestone for road base, rip-rap and similar uses without the required permit and without a sales contract.”

The Glenwood Springs Citizens’ Alliance first addressed its concerns of current operations at the Mid-Continent Quarry in a formal letter to the Bureau of Land Management in October 2018. The letter asked the agency to investigate suspected permit violations and to suspend non-compliant mining operations if violations were found. After no response, the Citizens’ Alliance sent another letter last month. Alliance members say the federal agency issued a short response reiterating its decision to allow Rocky Mountain Industrials’ current operations at the Mid-Continent Quarry to continue.

“We have waited for nearly a year and a half for [the Bureau of Land Management] to enforce its own mining regulations,” Peterson said in the press release. “Meanwhile, [Rocky Mountain Industrials] continues to profit from mining on public lands.” 

The Citizens’ Alliance suit is focused on the Bureau of Land Management's regulation of Rocky Mountain Industrials' past and current mining operations. It does not address the mining company's proposal for a massive expansion of the limestone quarry.

The Bureau of Land Management said they do not comment on litigation.