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Cottonwood Environmental Law Center v. Edwards

ELR Citation: 51 ELR 20048
Nos. 2:20-cv-00028-BU-BMM, (D. Mont., 03/23/2021) (Morris, J.)

A district court denied a motion for preliminary injunction in a lawsuit concerning irrigation of a golf course in Big Sky, Montana. Environmental groups argued a Montana water district over-irrigated the course, resulting in nitrogen and other pollutants leaching into groundwater that naturally sits in aquifers beneath the district's holding ponds and that the district diverts into the West Fork of the Gallatin River via an underdrain pipe system without an NDPES permit in violation of the CWA. The court found that while the groups presented evidence of elevated nitrogen in the river, the origins of the elevated pollutant remained unclear, and that the groups failed to show they would be irreparably harmed after the alleged pollutants washed away. It therefore denied the motion for preliminary injunction.