Greens: Nevada needs to plan out lithium boom

By Hannah Northey | 02/21/2024 01:33 PM EST

The goal should be to direct lithium projects to areas where there is minimal threats to endangered species or vulnerable ecosystems, said Patrick Donnelly with the Center for Biological Diversity.

A dump truck and an excavator work on construction at the Lithium Nevada Corp. mine site.

Construction work is seen at the Lithium Nevada mine site Thacker Pass project on April 24, 2023, near Orovada, Nevada. Rick Bowmer/AP

A conservation group in Nevada — a state at the epicenter of a lithium rush to feed electric vehicle batteries — is calling on lawmakers there to hammer out a plan to steer mining projects away from sensitive areas to avoid litigation and threats to vulnerable plants and wildlife.

It’s an approach that, if successful, could be exported to other states across the West, the group says.

Patrick Donnelly, the Great Basin director at the Center for Biological Diversity, asked Nevada’s Joint Interim Standing Committee on Natural Resources in a letter earlier this month to come up with a plan to reduce the number of mines being built in “areas of greatest conflict.”
in a letter earlier this month


Donnelly hopes the interim committee agrees to investigate more than 80 lithium projects that have been proposed on Nevada’s public lands, hold a hearing on the matter and ultimately recommend a bill for next year’s full biennial legislative session.