Fuel Industries' planned excavation and documentation of a New Mexico landfill which would, in theory, unearth a burial of E.T. cartridges for the Atari 2600, is currently in negotiations for a dig permit. The Alamogordo Daily News reports that the New Mexico Environment Department has rejected Fuel Industries' waste excavation proposal, saying that it was too "generic" as well as lacking in site-specific details.

Those details aren't just bureaucratic red tape, either. According to the Daily News, the NMED called for further testing of the Alamogordo landfill in 2004, when studies showed increased chemical levels at the site. Twenty-two "compounds of concern" were noted at the time. Imagine cracking open the soil of a landfill to hunt down a video game graveyard only to have noxious fumes and chemicals poison you, like you'd opened up a pharoah's tomb and suffered the mummy's curse.

It's unclear how the delay will impact the development of Fuel Industries' documentary, which was planned to air on Xbox this year. The NMED stated that their findings were sent to Fuel Industries on February 27, but as of March 17, they had not seen a revised proposal.
[Image: Atari]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.