GLENWOOD SPRINGS – A Garfield County judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by a Denver-based mining company that argued the county could not regulate its rock quarry mining near Glenwood Springs because the operation is located on federal territory.
Opponents of mining hailed the move, saying a move to the contrary could have eroded counties’ ability to ensure mining and other industrial activities on federal lands meet local environmental standards.
Rocky Mountain Industrials Inc. has mined limestone north of the city and asked the United States Bureau of Land Management to let it expand to 447 acres, reports The Post-Independent. The request to extend the company to BLM is pending.
In 2019, county commissioners determined that RMI was operating outside of the conditions set by a local license. RMI sued the county, seeking to quash that citation.
District Judge Anne K. Norrdin ruled on June 26 that she could find no compelling error on the part of the commissioners in order to grant RMI a successful appeal.
Norrdin said a county special use permit for the quarry “does not authorize unlimited or unregulated mining activities by RMI, nor does it isolate RMI from the action” of county commissioners.
An email requesting comment from RMI was not immediately returned on Friday.
The company said the career expansion will create 100 jobs and that it is proposing measures to mitigate the increase in truck traffic.