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Federal appeals court denies tribal company's request to halt ruling on Navajo Mine

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FLAGSTAFF, Arizona — A federal appeals court has denied a request to keep a review on the effects of burning coal from a Navajo Nation mine from moving forward.

The Navajo Transitional Energy Co. LLC sought an emergency stay on a ruling by U.S. District Court Judge John Kane while it appealed the decision. The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals denied the request Thursday.

Kane blocked efforts to expand operations within the Navajo Mine in northwestern New Mexico. He said the federal Office of Surface Mining violated federal law by not considering the impacts of coal combustion and sent the tribe's permit revision application back to the agency.

The Navajo company argued the ruling could jeopardize the sustainability of the mine and an associated power plant.

Environmentalists said those claims were exaggerated.

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