Last fall we filed a lawsuit challenging the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and their approval of Lucky Minerals’ gold exploration project in Emigrant Gulch. We determined that the DEQ’s Environmental Assessment did not adequately address many legitimate concerns with regard to water quality and wildlife in the area of exploration, nor did it take into consideration Lucky’s large scale mining plans. Our concerns were heard! We owe Earth Justice a huge thank you for representing us in this important case.
In a decision issued Wednesday, Judge Brenda Gilbert ruled that the state broke the law in approving Lucky Minerals’ gold exploration project. Specifically, the Department of Environmental Quality failed to conduct reasonable analyses of the very serious consequences of the proposed industrial activity in Emigrant Gulch, including potential long-term harm to wildlife and water quality. DEQ also failed to consider alternatives that could reduce these harms. And importantly, DEQ did not evaluate the potential for full-scale mine development that the exploration project is designed to promote.
The Court’s decision vindicates our concerns and those that our Park County community has been voicing loudly since this bad idea was first proposed.
It remains to be seen whether Lucky will attempt to push forward its project this summer on the basis of an unlawful environmental analysis. If Lucky insists on pursuing its current exploration plans this summer we will continue to take all the necessary legal steps to stop it.
We will continue to keep you informed on this important issue as we move forward. We can’t to this work and win these fights without your continued engagement. And we can’t thank you enough for your support!
Michelle, Erica, Max & Colleen