Montanore lawsuit coming to a head

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A year-long lawsuit from environmental groups challenging the OK of the Montanore Mine approval may come to an end in two weeks.

The mantra, “I support Montanore, we waited long enough,” is plastered inside the windows Libby’s businesses and residents, but with the lawsuit challenging the Montanore Mine approval over a year ago, Libby residents had to wait even longer.

Last Thursday, whether or not the mine should be approved went before a federal court. U.S. District Judge Don Molloy promised a decision within two weeks.

A coalition of environmental groups include Save Our Cabinets, Earthworks and Defenders of Wildlife want the FWS biological opinion that OK’d the project overturned.

These three groups said that the government’s authorization for Montanore ignored studies of the mine’s environmental effects, including the effects on bull trout, waterways and grizzly bears.

Kootenai National Forest officials approved the project, noting the company planned extensive mitigation efforts, including acquiring about 6,000 acres of new habitat for grizzly bears. Attorneys for the U.S. Department of Justice and company argued the project had to be judged as it went along.

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