PEAC Challenges Exploratory Drilling Near Mount St. Helens National Monument
In July of 2011, PEAC filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Gifford Pinchot Task Force challenging a decision by the United States Forest Service to allow exploratory drilling for mineral deposits in an area along the Green River and adjacent to the Mount St. Helens National Monument. The USFS approved that drilling without conducting any NEPA analysis or requiring a special use permit. PEAC filed a motion for a Temporary Restraining Order/Preliminary Injunction on July 7th after the USFS refused to halt the drilling pending resolution of the case. The USFS and drilling company then agreed to halt their operations long enough for that motion to be briefed. But when they reviewed PEAC’s brief, the USFS suspended its approval and then, on October 14th, withdrew its letter allowing the drilling. PEAC and its client are now investigating how the drilling company may attempt to proceed next spring.