Tribe members: Noted bison kill site desecrated by coal mine

This undated recent aerial photo from the Montana State Library shows shows an area of a Westmoreland Energy coal mine near Sarpy Creek in eastern Mon...

This undated recent aerial photo from the Montana State Library shows shows an area of a Westmoreland Energy coal mine near Sarpy Creek in eastern Mon...

This Sept. 19, 2019 photo shows an area of a Westmoreland Energy coal mine on the Crow Indian Reservation near Sarpy Creek in eastern Montana. When We...

This Sept. 19, 2019 photo shows an area of a Westmoreland Energy coal mine on the Crow Indian Reservation near Sarpy Creek in eastern Montana. When We...

This Sept. 19, 2019 photo shows an entrance to a Westmoreland Energy coal mine on the Crow Indian Reservation near Sarpy Creek in eastern Montana. Whe...

This Sept. 19, 2019 photo shows an entrance to a Westmoreland Energy coal mine on the Crow Indian Reservation near Sarpy Creek in eastern Montana. Whe...

This Sept. 19, 2019 photo shows an entrance to a Westmoreland Energy coal mine on the Crow Indian Reservation near Sarpy Creek in eastern Montana. Whe...

This Sept. 19, 2019 photo shows an entrance to a Westmoreland Energy coal mine on the Crow Indian Reservation near Sarpy Creek in eastern Montana. Whe...

This Oct. 14, 2019 photo shows Burton Pretty On Top, 73, a Crow elder and spiritual leader, in Billings, Mont. When Westmoreland Energy, a coal compan...

This Oct. 14, 2019 photo shows Burton Pretty On Top, 73, a Crow elder and spiritual leader, in Billings, Mont. When Westmoreland Energy, a coal compan...

This 2013 photo from photo from Archaeological Damage Investigation & Assessment shows a pile of bison bone fragments, dumped in a pile by a backhoe i...

This 2013 photo from photo from Archaeological Damage Investigation & Assessment shows a pile of bison bone fragments, dumped in a pile by a backhoe i...

SARPY CREEK, Montana (AP) — When a coal company used a backhoe to dig up a huge bison killing ground on the Crow Indian Reservation in 2011 to make way for mining, investigators found the damage violated federal law and would cost $10 million to repair.

But documents obtained by The Associated Press and interviews with investigators show nothing happened.

There were no fines and no repairs. Westmoreland Energy is still mining as it awaits federal approval for repairs to the site where Native Americans killed bison for centuries.

A Bureau of Indian Affairs spokeswoman says a civil violation notice was issued last year but would not provide details.

Westmoreland executive Joe Micheletti says no penalty is involved.

The 2,000-year-old southeastern Montana held countless bison bones and more than 3,300 stone tools and spear points.