A number of news sources are reporting today that an Interior Department Administrative Law Judge ruled the Office of Surface Mining cannot allow Peabody Western Coal Co. to operate two coal mines near Kayenta under a single federal permit. [below, index map of mines and plants. Credit, OSMRE EIS]
The Sierra Club and others had filed suit as part of efforts to halt coal mining and coal-fired power plants in the region.
Arizona Daily Sun reports that the Kayenta and Black Mesa mines opened in the 1970s and the Kayenta provide 8.5 million tons of coal annually to the Navajo Generating Station in Page.
The Black Mesa mine supplied coal to a power plant in Henderson Nevada that shut down in 2005 over costs of implementing tighter emissions controls and concerns about continuity of fuel supply, and as a result is now shut down.