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Santa Fe County Sued Over Mine Moratorium

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Proponents of a proposal to mine basalt on La Bajada mesa are suing Santa Fe County for imposing a 12-month moratorium on such developments.

Albuquerque landowner Buena Vista Estates and gravel company Rockology Limited are seeking to overturn the moratorium.

The county took action in September after residents voiced concerns about the proposed mine. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that residents complained about possible pollution, noise and what they described as the destruction of the mesa's scenic beauty.

The proponents' attorney, Pete Domenici Jr., says there's no justification for the moratorium. He's asking a state district judge to grant the application to operate the 50-acre mine if county commissioners continue to refuse to take final action on the mine permit.

The county declined to comment on the lawsuit.