Navajo Company Reaches Immunity Deal With U.S. For Coal Mines

Feb 27, 2020

A Navajo tribal company has reached an agreement that would allow the federal government to enforce environmental laws at two coal mines in Wyoming and one in Montana.

Credit (Matthew Brown/Associated Press)

Navajo Transitional Energy Company purchased the mines following the bankruptcy of Gillette-based Cloud Peak Energy in 2019.

As a tribal entity, NTEC normally would be able to claim sovereign immunity and avoid being sued by government agencies seeking to enforce laws.

NTEC's limited waiver of sovereign immunity agreement with the U.S. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement would allow the federal agency to enforce laws including the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act at the mines.