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Voigt v. Coyote Creek Mining Co., LLC

ELR Citation: 51 ELR 20096
Nos. 18-2705, (8th Cir., 06/01/2021)

The Eighth Circuit affirmed, 2-1, summary judgment for a mining company in a lawsuit concerning the company's operation of a coal mine in North Dakota. Owners of an adjacent ranch argued the company violated the CAA by failing to obtain the proper construction permit for the mine and failing to implement the requisite dust control plan for the mine's coal processing plant. The district court granted summary judgment for the company, concluding that the federal regulations imposing permitting and dust control requirements did not apply to the mine's coal pile because the pile was not part of the coal processing plant. The ranch owners appealed, arguing the regulations clearly and unambiguously placed the coal pile squarely within the plant. The appellate court disagreed, concluding the most reasonable interpretation was that the pile was not "in" the company's processing plant and that the district court did not err in granting summary judgment to the company. It therefore affirmed summary judgment for the company.