DENVER (AP) — The Interior Department has signed off on a plan to keep a northwestern Colorado coal mine open.

The federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement announced Friday that Assistant Interior Secretary Janice Schneider approved the mining plan for the Colowyo mine near Craig.

The move follows a court-ordered environmental review which concluded that climate change impact of the coal to be mined and eventually burned was insignificant.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

It’s not clear if the approval is final or subject to the approval of the federal judge who ordered the new review because the old one didn’t involve public participation or take the greenhouse gases produced by the coal into account.

Similar lawsuits challenging permits were also filed against a mine in New Mexico and another near the Montana-Wyoming border.

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