mining

Supreme Court Update: PEPTO and Rinehart

Supreme Court denies review in two important environmental law cases

Last week the US Supreme Court brought closure to two cases we have been following here at Legal Planet. First is a case I had blogged about in the past – People for the Ethical Treatment of Property Owners v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – a challenge to the constitutionality of the federal Endangered …

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Guest Blogger Justin Pidot: Two Years after Gold King Disaster, Trump Would Slash Funding for Abandoned Mines Cleanup

Congress Should Ensure that Money Is Available to Address Pollution on Public Lands

In recent legal battles, the State of Utah has rarely sided with the environment.  It is a significant moment, therefore, when Utah files a lawsuit aimed to force polluters to pay for contamination they have caused, as it did last week when it sued mine owners and contractors for the EPA related to the Gold …

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California Supreme Court Holds Unanimously that the State May Restrict Mining Methods on Federal Lands

Court in People v. Rinehart Upholds State Moratorium on Suction-Dredge Mining

Last year, as I discussed in a prior post, the California Supreme Court granted the State of California’s petition for review in the case of People v. Rinehart.  I’m pleased to say that today, the Supreme Court has issued a unanimous opinion, authored by Justice Werdegar, in favor of the state’s moratorium on suction-dredge mining on federal lands. …

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California Supreme Court to Decide Whether the Mining Law Preempts State Ban on Suction Dredge Mining

Court’s Decision May Affect State’s Ability to Regulate Activities on Federal Lands

The California Supreme Court recently accepted a case that may make it more difficult for the state to protect the environment from the damaging impacts of mining. At issue is the state’s ban on suction-dredge mining in streambeds. Californians engaged in suction-dredge mining have vigorously fought against the state’s ban, and a panel of the …

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NAFTA gold mining opinion upholding California environmental regulation issued by arbitration tribunal

As I previously discussed in detail in this post, a NAFTA arbitration tribunal recently decided a closely-watched case in a way that will further environmental protection.  The panel’s 355-page opinion in the Glamis Gold case has been made public: here it is. The panel decided in favor of California’s right to regulate in-state mining by foreign …

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NAFTA tribunal strikes a blow for mining regulation by U.S. states

The U.S. and the State of California have been cleared of liability in a widely-watched NAFTA case involving mining regulations.  A foreign mining company challenged the legality of California regulations that prevented a proposed environmentally- and culturally-destructive gold mine from being built in California’s Imperial Valley.   The company, Glamis Gold Ltd, a Canadian company …

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Coeur Alaska–A Shifting Legal Position by the Obama Administration?

As the U.S. Supreme Court Term winds down, only one environmental case on the Court’s docket remains undecided: Coeur Alaska v. Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, No. 07-984. That case, which involves the relationship between the Clean Water Act’s water pollution control (NPDES) and its wetlands dredge-and-fill programs, arises in the context of a proposed gold …

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Interior to pull mountaintop mining rule

UPDATE 4/29: AP reports that the Justice Department’s filing requests that the rule be vacated and remanded on the grounds that it was not preceded by ESA consultation. (Hat tip: PLF on ESA). Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced today that his department would ask the court hearing a challenge to a key Bush-era rule on …

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Court ruling will force EPA to take action it was required to take in 1983 (!)

It is not unusual for the federal government to neglect its statutory duties under federal environmental laws; when it does, citizen suits are the primary means of ensuring that the government follows the law.  Sometimes federal agencies’ inaction results from lack of resources, and sometimes it results from intentionally interpreting its duties in a minimalist manner.  In some …

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