Utah justices hear mineral lease case

Chris Rizo Feb. 2, 2009, 4:00pm

Utah Supreme Court building

SALT LAKE CITY (Legal Newsline)-The Utah Supreme Court on Monday heard arguments in a case whether environmentalists should have a chance to challenge a company's mineral leases to operate on the Great Salt Lake.

Great Salt Lake Minerals Corp. plans to expand its operations by 33,000 acres at the lake.

The company says critics should have raised their concerns during the planning process, not when the Utah Department of Natural Resources is deciding whether to grant specific leases.

Advocacy groups, including the Audubon Council of Utah, however, say the public should be allowed to weigh in at a public hearing on specific projects like the one Overland Park, Kansas-based Great Salt Lake Minerals is seeking.

The coalition of environmentalists are being represented by attorney Joro Walker of Western Resource Advocates. The company is represented by the Salt Lake City law firm of Parr, Waddoups, Brown, Gee & Loveless.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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