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Coal Corp. Operating Co. of Am. v. Hodel

ELR Citation: 18 ELR 20564
Nos. No. CIV-86-2791-A, 669 F. Supp. 362/26 ERC 1806/(W.D. Okla., 09/18/1987)

The court holds that plaintiffs are barred from seeking judicial review under §526 of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) of the Department of the Interior's assumption of direct enforcement of SMCRA in Oklahoma, since they failed to file their complaint within 60 days of the Department's action. Various courts have held the 60-day time limit on challenges to the Department's approval or disapproval of state enforcement programs to be jurisdictional. The language of the statute is unambiguous, and similar limitations in other statutes have been held to be jurisdictional. Although plaintiffs also challenge the method of enforcement of the Department's rule assuming enforcement authority in Oklahoma, §526 allows petitions for review to be filed after 60 days only where the petition is based solely review to be filed after 60 days only where the petition is based solely on grounds arising after the 60th day.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Richard W. Lowry, Donald K. Switzer, 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
William S. Price, U.S. Attorney
4434 U.S. Courthouse & Fed'l Office Bldg., Oklahoma City OK 73102
(405) 231-5281