Description: Challenge to agencies’ approval of mining plan amendment for expansion of surface coal mine in Montana.
WildEarth Guardians v. U.S. Office of Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 10/03/2016 Notice Download Notice of compliance filed by federal defendants. After Issuing FONSI for Amendment to Coal Mine Plan, Agency Notified Court It Had Complied with Order Requiring Analysis of Indirect and Direct Effects. The United States Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) filed a notice in the federal district court for the District of Montana to inform the court that it had complied with the court’s January 2016 order requiring it to perform additional environmental review in conjunction with the approval of a modification to a coal mining plan. OSMRE told the court that it had completed an environmental assessment (EA) that considered the direct, indirect, and cumulative environmental effects of the modification, and that it had issued a finding of no significant impact (FONSI) based on the EA. The FONSI said that the proposed action’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions locally and nationally would be minor to moderately adverse and short-term. The NEPA documents for the modification are available here. 01/21/2016 Opinion and Order Download Court adopted magistrate's findings and recommendations and ordered updated environmental assessment. Montana Federal Court Required New Review of Expansion Plan for Coal Mine. The federal district court for the District of Montana ordered the United States Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) to prepare an updated environmental assessment that considered the direct and indirect effects of a mining plan amendment for expansion of a surface coal mine in Montana. The court adopted the findings and recommendations issued by a magistrate judge in October 2015. The magistrate judge found that OSMRE’s finding of no significant impact (FONSI) was based on a six-year-old environmental assessment that expressly stated that it was not analyzing site-specific plans and contained no explanation of its conclusion that the amendment would have no significant impact on air quality, coal combustion, or reclamation. The court agreed with the magistrate judge that OSMRE had not taken a hard look at environmental impacts and also agreed with the magistrate judge that OSMRE’s failure to provide public notice of the FONSI was not harmless error. The district court deferred vacating the mining plan amendment for 240 days to give OSMRE time to complete the review. 10/23/2015 Not Available Download Magistrate judge issued findings and recommendations.
Northern Plains Resource Council Inc. v. Jewell
No case documents are available.