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Diné Citizens Against Ruining Our Environment v. Jewell

ELR Citation: 48 ELR 20066
Nos. 15-0209, (D.N.M., 04/23/2018) (Browning, J.)

A district court dismissed environmental groups' NEPA and National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) claims against BLM in connection with its approval of oil and gas drilling on public and tribal lands near Cacho Cultural National Historical Park. The court agreed that the groups have standing to pursue their NEPA and NHPA claims, but the claims were dismissed. BLM took the requisite "hard look" under NEPA. In addition, it adequately involved the public in its NEPA process, including giving notice of the final EAs' availability through BLM's online NEPA logs, and sending notices of and hosting public meetings at each of the proposed well sites. Likewise, BLM complied with the NHPA. The groups argued that BLM failed to analyze the indirect effects the wells would have on Chaco Park and its satellites. But BLM was only required to consider the effects on historical sites within the wells' areas of potential effects, and Chaco Park and its satellites are outside of those areas.