"A federal judge has yanked approval for a phosphate mining project in southeastern Idaho, saying federal land managers in the Trump administration didn’t in part properly consider the mine’s impact on sage grouse, a bird species that has seen an 80% decline in population since 1965.
U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill’s Friday decision came five months after he found fault with the way the U.S. Bureau of Land Management approved the Caldwell Canyon Mine in 2019.
The mine has been proposed by P4 Production LLC, a subsidiary of German pharmaceutical giant Bayer AG. Three environmental groups — the Center for Biological Diversity, Western Watersheds Project and WildEarth Guardians — sued.
In January, Winmill agreed with the conservation groups that the federal agency violated the National Environmental Policy Act and other laws on several counts when it approved the mine, including failing to consider the indirect effects of processing ore at a nearby plant and the cumulative impacts on sage grouse, whose population has dramatically declined over its habitat in 11 Western states, according to the U.S. Geological Survey."