Summit county, Colo. (AP) The Colorado Supreme Court has overturned Summit County’s ban on cyanide heap-leach mining, saying the state has a “dominant interest” over counties when it comes to the regulation of mining.
Joined by environmental groups, the county had argued that the practice of using a diluted cyanide solution on piles of ore posed a serious threat to water quality.
The Colorado Mining Association fought the ban through several court levels. It maintained the state is responsible for overseeing mining and the county was improperly trying to ban legal, regulated economic activity.
The association won its first appeal in Summit County District Court.
A subsequent State Court of Appeals Decision reinstated the ban, prompting the association’s appeal to the High Court.
The Supreme Court issued its ruling on Monday.
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