VICTORY! Stopping the Bull Mountain Mine Expansion

In the foothills of central Montana near Roundup, we kept 170 million tons of coal in the ground in 2017 and defended that victory in 2022. We defeated the Bull Mountain/Signal Peak Mine expansion, arguing that the agency’s analysis of impacts to water employed an erroneous standard and of the five springs undermined in the Bull Mountains, four have shown diminished water levels and two of the four have gone fully dry. That water is needed by nearby ranching operations for livestock, and combustion of coal from the Bull Mountain Mine will cause continued contamination of the air and water, and will exacerbate the crisis of climate change.

However, the new environmental assessment doubled down on the original errors that led to our court victory so we sued to stop the expansion again and won in 2020.

We won our case before the Ninth Circuit, and the District Court vacated the mine plan. We have another case before a state appeals board, challenging permitting decisions by OSM and state regulators. We are hoping that the next decision will be five-strikes-you’re-out for this destructive mining operation.

Photo by WildEarth Guardians

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