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Sierra Club v. Penfold

Citation: 17 ELR 21257
No. No. A86-083, 664 F. Supp. 1299 at 1311/(D. Alaska, 07/21/1987) Injunctions modified

The court modifies several injunctions entered pursuant to its earlier decision, 17 ELR 21254, in which it held that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) must prepare an environmental impact statement on the cumulative impacts of placer mining in certain national wild river watersheds and, in some instances, consider the impacts of the mining on subsistence uses. The court first holds that the final clause of the injunctions, which requires BLM to "take all actions necessary to enforce and implement" the injunction is too imprecise to satisfy the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65(d). The court declines to delete language maintaining the injunctions until BLM has prepared "adequate" environmental and subsistence studies. Any uncertainty concerning the adequacy of the studies can be referred to the court, which has retained jurisdiction. The court changes the effective date of the injunctions from October 1 to November 15, 1987, to allow for completion of the 1987 season, but declines to make exceptions for 1988 or 1989 seasons despite the possibility of hardship on miners. The court also refuses to include language exempting "zero-discharge" mines since even mines that do not contribute to water quality degradation can have adverse effects on downstream wild river environment.

Counsel are listed at 17 ELR 21254.