BISMARCK (AP) - A hearing is set in a federal court for a lawsuit that accuses two North Dakota Public Service Commissioners of taking improper campaign contributions.
The Sierra Club and Dickinson-based Dakota Resource Council filed the lawsuit last year asking the federal government to strip the North Dakota agency's responsibilities for regulating coal mining.
Arguments are slated Friday in Bismarck federal court.
The Sierra Club and the Dakota Resource Council oppose a proposed coal mine in southwestern North Dakota. The groups allege Kevin Cramer and Brian Kalk accepted campaign contributions from officials of the coal mining company. The men say the donations were legal.
The Interior Department says in court documents that no laws were broken but "such campaign contributions could in certain circumstances risk creating an appearance of impropriety."