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Montana Environmental Information Center v. Stone-Manning

ELR Citation: 44 ELR 20204
Nos. 13-35107, (9th Cir., 09/11/2014)

The Ninth Circuit held that it lacks subject matter jurisdiction over environmental groups' citizen suit challenging the Montana Department of Environmental Quality's potential approval of a surface mining permit. The groups argued that the agency director would be in violation of SMCRA if she approves the application. But the groups' alleged injury is not imminent, and their claim is not ripe. Even assuming arguendo that the director would not do a proper cumulative hydrologic impact assessment under the Act, the groups' allegations did not establish a substantial risk that the director would grant the permit application at all. The groups simply failed to allege that approval is inevitable or even particularly likely.