The Colorado Supreme Court has just restored sanity to mining in Colorado. Basically the justices decided that the state has a “dominant interest” in the regulation of mining activities and individual counties cannot go doing all sorts of weird and wonderful things to regulate mining.
A county-wide ban on heap leach cyanide mining has been overturned by the Colorado Supreme Court. The ban imposed by Summit County commissioners in 2004 was overturned by the state’s high court Monday.
The justices ruled that local governments cannot impose reclamation standards or ban the use of mining chemicals that are regulated by state and federal laws.
“The mining industry is gratified that Colorado’s highest Court has upheld uniform state standards for the protection of the environment over an ill conceived prohibition,” said CMA President Stuart Sanderson in a statement issued by its lawyers. “The prohibition would have discouraged mining and weakened environmental protections,” Sanderson added.
The particular irony in this case is that local government was told in this case that local government is not the best government. See this link for wails and woes in this regard. Good to see the Colorado Mining Association with it strong conservative bent supporting a more comprehensive uber-government approach.
The other irony is that Jared Polis, the local Democratic congressman came out strongly against the use of cyanide in mining during his election win. This in spite of the Navigator SUV he drives around in. Seems he supports very local government in this case.
Which only tells us that there is no perfect government, only local politics, local politicians, and the greater power of the state and the logic of the law to protect us from SUVs driven wild down country roads.