Two North Dakota conservation groups say they are ready to file a lawsuit against two public service commissioners for a conflict of interest for accepting campaign contributions from a coal company they regulate.
Wayde Schafer of the Dakotah Chapter of the Sierra Club said the Sierra Club and the Dakotah Resource Council will file a 60-day notice of intent to file the suit in federal court.
Schafer said the groups will make the announcement formally at 11 a.m. Monday at the state Capitol.
Schafer said the groups sent formal letters to PSC commissioners Kevin Cramer and Brian Kalk eight months ago, asking them to recuse themselves from discussions on the South Heart Coal mining permit.
Schafer said they declined. He said the federal Surface Mining and Reclamation Act prohibits public service commissioners from accepting gifts from companies they regulate.