DOI Announces Trapper Mine Can Remain Operational

DOI Completion of Environmental Assessment Prior to April 30th Allows Mine to Stay Open

Washington, DC – Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) today welcomed the Interior Department's Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) announcement that Trapper Mine's environmental assessment is completed and development of the mine can continue. The decision comes after Gardner repeatedly urged the Interior Department to finish the environmental assessment before its deadline, April 30, 2016. 

"Trapper Mine is one of the largest employers in Northwest Colorado, qualifying it as an economic cornerstone of the region," said Gardner.  "I join Northwest Colorado in welcoming today's announcement, which will allow operations to continue at Trapper Mine and preserve the jobs and livelihoods that depend on it."

Trapper Mine’s permit was covered under the same environmental review that the U.S. District Court in Colorado deemed deficient for Coloywo Mine, but Trapper Mine was initially believed to be unaffected. Further review led to a negotiation with the OSMRE that required a new environmental assessment in order to keep Trapper Mine operational. 

In December of 2015, Gardner joined Governor John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Sen. Bennet (D-CO), and Rep. Scott Tipton (CO-3) in sending a letter to DOI urging completion of the environmental assessment before its deadline. Gardner and Tipton followed up with another letter on April 6, 2016 as the deadline neared.


Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy. 

354 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510

(202) 224-5941