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Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

ELR Citation: 49 ELR 20005
Nos. 18-C-108, (E.D. Wis., 12/19/2018) (Griesbach, J.)

A district court dismissed a Native American tribe's lawsuit challenging a proposed sulfide mine along the banks of the Menominee River, which forms the border between Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The tribe argued, pursuant to the Act's citizen suit provision, that EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to assume jurisdiction over CWA §404 permits for the mine. The court found the Agency had the right to cede authority over the permits to state agencies. The tribe also sought to amend its original complaint to include claims that the Agency's withdrawal of oversight violated the APA and that the Agency failed to consult the National Historic Preservation Act before permits were issued by Michigan. But the court determined that the tribe's proposed amendments did not state claims upon which relief could be granted and that any amendment to add such claims would be futile. The court therefore denied the tribe's motion to amend and dismissed the case.