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Oklahoma Wildlife Fed'n v. Hodel

Citation: 17 ELR 20155
No. No. 85-C-964-C, 642 F. Supp. 569/(N.D. Okla., 07/14/1986) Jurisdiction over fed. defendants

The court holds that the citizen suits provisions of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) do not provide jurisdiction over plaintiffs' suit against officials of the Department of the Interior and the Oklahoma Department of Mines. The court rules that SMCRA § 520(a)(1) applies only to suits against private or government entities engaged in coal mining or reclamation activities that are allegedly violating a rule, regulation, order, or permit issued under SMCRA. The court next holds that the Office of Surface Mining's issuance of a cessation order to the coal company satisfies its nondiscretionary duty under § 520(a)(2) to take enforcement actions against violators of SMCRA. Since the Secretary has initiated the mandatory enforcement action, the court will not have jurisdiction until the administrative process is complete. Thus, the Secretary's application of the incidental mining exemption to the coal company is an exercise of discretion not reviewable under § 520(a)(2).

[A related case appears at 17 ELR 20156.]

Counsel for Plaintiff
Thomas J. McGeady
Logan, Lowry, Johnston, Switzer, West & McGeady
101 S. Wilson St., P.O. Box 558, Vinita OK 74301
(918) 256-7511

Counsel for Defendants
Dianne Shawley
Office of the Solicitor, Div. of Surface Mining
U.S. Department of the Interior
2401 E St. NW, Washington DC 20037
(202) 343-1100