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Huron Mountain Club v. United States Army Corps of Engineers

ELR Citation: 43 ELR 20245
Nos. No. 12-2217, (6th Cir., 10/30/2013)

The Sixth Circuit, in an unpublished opinion, denied a wildlife preserve's motion to preliminarily enjoin a mining company from constructing and operating a nickel and copper mine in Marquette, Michigan, and to compel the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to force a federal permitting request. The mining company obtained necessary permits from the state, but it did not apply for a federal permit for the project. The preserve is unlikely to succeed on the merits of the case. Neither the CWA nor the Rivers and Harbors Act imposes a nondiscretionary duty on the Corps to issue permits before any person can engage in regulated activity. Rather, the burden is on the regulated party to seek the necessary permits. And even if the company is violating the CWA and Rivers and Harbors Act, the Corps' decision to bring (or not bring) an enforcement action is discretionary and not subject to judicial review. In addition, the preserve failed to show that it will suffer irreparable harm or that the balance of harms weighed in its favor.