July 10, 2019

“In light of Blackjewel’s bankruptcy and how chaotically this situation evolved, we thank the EQC for staying the permit transfers at this time. We are relieved that the Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr permits will remain under Contura,” said Powder River Basin Resource Council Chair Joyce Evans.  “However, we are disappointed that we ended up in a hearing before the EQC in the first place. Blackjewel was obviously not a good operator, and the state should never have granted them the license to operate these mines.”

Background: In May, the Wyoming Environmental Quality Council held a two-day hearing over Powder River Basin Resource Council’s objections to Contura Coal West’s proposal to transfer their permits for Belle Ayr and Eagle Butte coal strip mines to Blackjewel LLC. The EQC postponed making a decision in order to gather more information regarding the process by which mine violations in other states affect and potentially block the ability for Blackjewel to receive Contura’s coal mine permits. On July 1, 2019, Blackjewel filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. For a link to Powder River’s release from the May hearing: https://www.powderriverbasin.org/2019/05/17/environmental-quality-council-raises-concerns-over-blackjewel-coal-mine-permit-approval/