6/30: Public Comments Needed on Proposal to Expand the King II Coal Mine

The King II Coal Mine (La Plata County’s only operating coal mine) is set to run out of reserves in about two years time, which has prompted the owner, GCC Energy, LLC, to ask for an expansion of 950-acres of underground workings. Concerns regarding operations at the mine have persisted for decades and include impacts to regional water, sound, and air quality, surface disturbances, and contributions to greenhouse gas emissions in a warming climate.

WHEN :  

Public comments are due by July 9th, 2017 : https://goo.gl/QRKdtm


La Plata County, CO ; 20 miles west of Durango, near Hesperus, 6.5 miles off State Highway 140 on County Road 120


According to a BLM description, the current proposal is estimated to extend the life of the mine by five to seven years and a Preliminary Environmental Assessment and separate unsigned Draft Finding of No Significant Impact are available for public review and comment.

To review and comment on the assessment, contact the Little Snake Field Office or visit http://go.usa.gov/x92jw. Public comments will help identify issues that should be addressed as part of the Environmental Assessment for this project. Comments on the lease modification should be submitted by July 9, 2017 to the BLM Little Snake Field Office, Attn: Jennifer Maiolo, 455 Emerson St., Craig, CO or emailed to coalcommenttresrios@blm.gov.

Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address or other personal identifying information, be advised that your entire comment – including your identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask in your comment to withhold from public review your personal information, we cannot guarantee that the BLM will be able to do so.

Suggestions for your comment:


  • “I insist that the BLM and OSMRE deny a modification of the existing Federal Coal Lease COC62920 for the King II Coal Mine.” Please include this in your comment.
  • “The King II Coal mine is owned by a multi-national construction corporation and coal from the mine is transported by truck out of the region and is used in the production of cement products.”
  • “The preliminary EA fails to adequately address local concerns of the mine’s impact on water quantity / quality, sound and air pollution, and surface disturbances.”
  • “If the proposed expansion is only estimated to extend the life of the mine by 5 to 7 years, I insist that GCC Energy’s time and money would be better spent designing and implementing a retraining program for the mine’s workers and a remediation plan to prepare for the inevitable closure of the mine.”
  • “The use of coal is a significant contributor to dangerous greenhouse gas emissions.”
  • “The realities of a changing climate and a rapidly declining demand for coal resources do not support the expansion of the King II Coal Mine.”


For further information on the proposal and the history of the mine, click on the links below:






Thank you, in advance, for your attention to this important issue.