Nevada rancher sues to block lithium mine near Oregon line

Thacker Pass image from the Environmental Impact Statement.
Thacker Pass image from the Environmental Impact Statement.(Bureau of Land Management)
Published: Feb. 17, 2021 at 4:08 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (AP) - A longtime Nevada rancher is suing U.S. regulators over the approval of a lithium mine on federal rangeland he says would violate environmental laws.

Edward Bartell says the project also will undermine changes he has made in his own livestock grazing practices to help threatened fish and wildlife. His Bartell Ranch says in the lawsuit filed in federal court in Reno last week that the Bureau of Land Management relied “entirely upon flawed and error-laden findings” in assessments prepared by the mine’s own contractor.

The lawsuit says the mine proposed by Lithium Americas would lower the groundwater table, harm federally protected trout and sage grouse and transform private lands into barren desert.

A consultant for Lithium Nevada Corp., a subsidiary of the Canada-based Lithium Americas Corp., prepared “a one-sided, deeply-flawed” analysis of the project, according to the lawsuit filed last week in U.S. District Court in Reno.

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