Utah clean air group corners Kennecott over emissions

Thursday , March 06, 2014 - 1:41 PM

The Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY -- It's a dust-up between Utah Moms for Clean Air and Kennecott Utah Copper Corp.

Clean-air groups are headed to federal court to argue Kennecott has been violating clean-air regulations at an open pit west of Salt Lake City by digging up more ore than allowed by a federal agreement and kicking up dust.

If they prevail, the groups will seek sanctions and an order limiting production at the Bingham Canyon mine.

By coincidence, Kennecott has scaled back operations owing to an April landslide that damaged the ore pit.

Kennecott says it's working to ramp up production again. It's also digging into a new part of its property to expand copper output. That prompted the lawsuit from groups that also include Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment and Denver-based WildEarth Guardians.

Judge Robert Shelby set a hearing on arguments for 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.

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