"A Nevada rancher suing to block construction of the largest lithium mine in the U.S. says the government’s environmental assessment of the project relies on a baseline set by a consultant for the mining company with a conflict of interest that trivializes potential harm to water resources and wildlife near the Oregon line.
Bartell Ranch LLC wants a U.S. judge to order the Bureau of Land Management to provide documents, contracts and internal communications with all third-party consultants the agency used to reach its conclusion that Lithium Nevada Corp.’s mine won’t affect threatened species or significant scientific, cultural or historic resources.
The ranch filed a lawsuit in February challenging plans for the Thacker Pass mine it says would rob the ranch of its precious water rights.
The case has been consolidated with lawsuits subsequently filed in U.S. District Court in Reno by conservation groups and tribes alleging the mine would destroy critical sage grouse habitat and damage sacred tribal lands that were the site of a massacre in the 1860s."
Scott Sonner reports for the Associated Press October 31, 2021.