Coal Mining Will Continue Under Existing Permits - SMSC On 7 Top Business Lists - NAPT Job Opportunities
By Kathy Helms
KYKOTSMOVI, Ariz. – An administrative law judge’s Jan. 5 decision regarding permits at the Black Mesa Complex “kind of came as a surprise” Joseph Pizarchik, director of the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, said Monday.
Pizarchik, who visited the Hopi Reservation to meet with tribal leaders and residents, said he had not had a chance to read the decision by Administrative Law Judge Robert G. Holt but had not expected a decision for several months.
Holt ruled that OSM failed to comply with federal environmental policy when it did not prepare a supplemental environmental impact statement in connection with an application for mine permit revisions sought by Peabody Coal Co. at the Black Mesa Complex on the Hopi and Navajo reservations.
“The decision raises some questions,” said Pizarchik, who was appointed to the job in November by President Obama. “We need to take the appropriate steps to re-examine if there were errors in the permitting process.”
“We do not intend to rush into an appeal,” he added. “We need to analyze the decision and discuss it” with the Hopi Tribe and the Navajo Nation. “We need to decide on a course of action. If we agree to do a supplemental EIS, that is what we’ll do. What we do will come down to the facts and be in accordance with the law.”
Putting together the supplemental environmental information could take 12 to 18 months. During that time, coal mining will continue under existing permits.
“In my view, coal is here for the foreseeable future,” he said, adding that itl provides about half the country’s electricity, and to stop using it cold turkey would have “devastating effects.”
He also acknowledged that burning coal contributes to greenhouse gases and global warming and that it is important to also look at newer technologies, such as carbon sequestration – capturing carbon dioxide and storing it away from the atmosphere – as well as alternative forms of energy, including wind, solar and geothermal.
The Hopi Tribe is working on carbon sequestration and is seeking Department of Energy funds for a pilot program to determine whether the process is viable for Hopi coal. DOE recently denied an application for a carbon capture project at the Desert Rock coal-fired plant proposed by Navajo near the Four Corners area.
Hopi also has tried for a number of years to develop a wind energy project, and is looking into solar energy and “clean” coal, a key provision of Obama’s energy plan.
Last January, the Forgotten People and three chapters – Tonalea, Coalmine and Leupp joined Californians for Renewable Energy, Hopi's Kendall Nutumya, Victor Masayesva Jr., and Black Mesa Water Coalition to oppose Peabody's controversial life-of-mine permit. The Nutumya plaintiffs pointed out OSM's violations of the National Environmental Policy Act.
“All these years our people suffered from adverse health effects and pollution of the environment. I am speechless, at a loss for words about what Forgotten People and the other groups are doing against a big company while all the Navajo Nation has done for decades is think about money and forget about the people's health and the environment,” said Chester Claw, Tonalea Chapter president. “This is David versus Goliath, and David prevailed.”
He said they now need to focus on Salt River Project and Navajo Generating Station “so they get a transportation permit to carry Peabody's Kayenta coal like they do at all other mines to ensure safety. SRP and NGS must install warning lights and barrier arms so no more people and livestock die at the railroad crossings.”
Don Yellowman, president of Forgotten People, said, “What SRP and NGS are doing with an unpermitted railroad is equivalent to an unsafe semi-truck driving on a highway without warning lights and improperly functioning brakes. Are they doing this because the lives of our people and livestock are less important?”
Minneapolis/St.Paul Business Journal Lists Shakopee Mdewakanton On Seven Top Lists For 2009
By Tessa Lehto,
Prior Lake, MN – SMSC entities made seven different top lists compiled by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal in 2009. Covering everything from employment to grants to golf courses, the lists appeared throughout the year in weekly editions of the publication which has a circulation of 15,149. These lists were then compiled in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal Book of Lists released in December 2009. The Book of Lists provides listings of hundreds of the top area companies in their fields, by ranking.
Eleven different enterprises are owned and operated by the Shakopee Mdewakanton on the reservation south of the Twin Cities. An additional enterprise is found at the Mall of America.
SMSC enterprises include the SMSC Gaming Enterprise (Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, Little Six Casino, and numerous restaurants), The Meadows at Mystic Lake, Dakotah Meadows RV Park, Playworks, Dakotah! Sport and Fitness, Dakotah! Ice Center, Dakotah Meadows Mini Storage, the Shakopee Dakota Convenience Stores, Playworks LINK Event Center, the Dakota Mall, and the Mystic Lake Store at the Mall of America. The SMSC also sponsored South Metro Federal Credit Union with a capital contribution in 1993.
The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community ranked as #9 in grants paid out of the top 25 grantmakers in the state. This was up from #12 the previous year. The increase is attributable to a $12.5 million grant to the University of Minnesota for scholarships and for TCF Bank Stadium during the year surveyed. (List originally published December 11, 2009.)
The SMSC ranked #42 out of the top 50 largest employer with 4,348 employees. The SMSC is the largest employer in Scott County. (List published March 6, 2009.)
The Meadows at Mystic Lake ranked as the #15 golf course by course rating and slope rating. The Meadows has a course rating of 74.6 and a slope rating of 146. (List published May 29, 2009.)
Mystic Lake Casino Hotel ranked as #2 on the list of hotel rooms available with 576. It also ranked as #22 out of 25 on banquet and meeting space available with 25,000 square feet. Hotel amenities include room service, a spa, numerous restaurants, a Bingo Hall, The Showroom, a swimming pool, and guest access at Dakotah! Sport and Fitness. Mystic Lake has 16 meeting rooms, and its largest room capacity is 2,100. (List published August 21, 2009.)
Mystic Lake Casino Hotel ranked as #1 out of 16 casinos in Minnesota and western Wisconsin with 4,100 total games: 4,000 electronic games and 100 table games. These numbers reflect both Mystic Lake Casino Hotel and Little Six Casino combined. (List published May 29, 2009.)
South Metro Federal Credit Union ranked #23 out of 25 by total assets. On the list, South Metro had total assets of $58,461,000. South Metro was founded with an initial capital contribution by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community in 1993. For the period surveyed South Metro had 2,584 members who live, work, worship, or attend school in Scott County. (List originally published June 5, 2009.)
On two other lists, companies affiliated with the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community were recognized.
HTG Architects, designer of the new Dakotah! Ice Center, South Metro Federal Credit Union, and other SMSC buildings, ranked as #21 out of 25 metro area firms ranked by architectural billings with $4,854,000. HTG has 10 architects and a staff of 25. (List published December 4, 2009.)
General contractor PCL Construction Services of Burnsville, Minnesota, which has been building on the reservation since 1995 ranked #10 by revenue. PCL, founded in 1978, has 235 employees. (List originally published February 6, 2009.)
Business Journals are one of the leading sources of comprehensive business news and in-depth analysis focusing on local businesses. American City Business Journals, the nation's largest publisher of metropolitan business newspapers, owns and operates 40 print Business Journals in the United States with a total national circulation of 472,087 and 8.2 million monthly unique visitors to bizjournals.com.
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