Montana DEQ Allows Spring Creek Restart
NTEC acquired the Spring Creek mine in Montana and the Cordero Rojo and Antelope mines in Wyoming from Cloud Peak Energy (CPE) during its Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. The transaction makes NTEC the third-largest U.S. coal producer. NTEC is a single-member limited-liability company, organized under the laws of the Navajo Nation, which owns the Navajo mine, near Fruitland, New Mexico. NTEC operates the Navajo mine pursuant to a limited waiver of sovereign.
An impasse with Montana DEQ over sovereign immunity forced NTEC to briefly idle operations at Spring Creek. The Montana DEQ wanted NTEC to partially waive its sovereign immunity so the agency could enforce the state’s laws with regard to the mine. The interim agreement does not settle that issue, as the short-term agreement allows NTEC to operate Spring Creek mine as a contractor under its existing operating agreement, but it will let the two sides continue negotiations without closing the mine.