When a new coal preparation plant decided to begin construction without first securing a permit, Plains Justice with the Dakota Resource Council and local residents jumped at the opportunity to file a complaint against the company.
With the complaint challenging the plant’s construction, Great Northern Power Development withdrew its application for a new coal mine that was to work in conjunction with the plant. But the victory is bigger than one plant — it has repercussions for coal mining across North Dakota.
The preparation plant would have established a controversial new technology that processes North Dakota’s low-energy, lignite coal to be more stable and valuable to plants outside of the state. While the technology would increase the value of North Dakota coal, it would also increase the demand for the state’s coal.
Activists fear that an increased demand would result in more strip mines, which are harmful to their farms and water supply.
For more information, check out this report at IndyMedia.
Photo Credit: ken ratcliff on Flickr under Creative Commons license.