JUNEAU, Alaska - A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit over a coal mine in Southcentral on procedural grounds.
U.S. District Judge John Sedwick, in an opinion issued last week, granted a request by Usibelli Coal Mine Inc. to dismiss the case brought by critics of the Wishbone Hill coal mine near Sutton.
Project opponents, who have raised concerns about water quality and other potential impacts in the area, argue that permits expired in the 1990s. A federal agency, responding to citizen complaints and concerns, also has questioned the validity of project permits. A state official has maintained the permits are valid.
Sedwick did not rule on the validity of the permits, and said the plaintiffs, including Friends of Mat-Su, could seek relief in a state forum.