The Powder River Basin Resource Council, along with many Sheridan County landowners and concerned citizens, have filed objections this month to Ramaco’s latest proposal regarding the Brook Mine.
Among the concerns of Joan Tellez, a local land owner and PRBRC board member, is the uncertainty of Ramaco’s proposal.
Also among concerns of the PRBRC is how the Department of Environmental Quality will respond to the comments.
It’s expected that the DEQ will call a public hearing, but according to the PRBRC, the process for that hearing is in doubt because of restrictions currently on public meetings because of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a news release from the resource council, no public hearing should take place until the restrictions on meetings with more than 10 people are lifted.
Ramaco’s application for a permit to operate the Brook Mine, which is located about six miles north of Sheridan in the Tongue River Valley, underwent six rounds of technical review from the DEQ back in 2014 to 2016.
After a contested hearing before the Environmental Quality Council in 2017, the company resubmitted a revised permit application to DEQ in October 2018. Following additional technical review, the permit application was released for public comment in early March of this year.
According to the PRBRC news release, the permit application is still too vague to analyze and understand the impacts to air land and water resources and public health and safety.
The permit application, according to the resource council, also fails to consider any cumulative impacts of Ramaco’s proposed iPark and iCam carbon manufacturing facilities. Those facilities are linked to the proposed Brook Mine.