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Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA)

M.L. Johnson Family Properties, LLC v. Zinke

A district court upheld a surface coal mining permit issued to a company even though the cotenant objected to any mining on the property. The company cotenant conveyed the right to enter and surface mine coal to an affiliate, but the...

Farrell-Cooper Mining Co. v. DOI

The Tenth Circuit held that a coal mining company was entitled to judicial review of a DOI decision after a lower court dismissed the suit. In 2013, the company was cited by DOI for a violation of SMCRA. In 2015, the mining company...

Caring for the Orphans: Approaches for Mitigating Fugitive Methane Emissions From Orphaned Oil and Gas Wells

Recent scientific research indicates fugitive methane emissions from abandoned oil and gas wells may contribute more to climate change than methane leakage from oil and gas production. Yet current orphaned well regulations fail to...

Coal River Mountain Watch v. United States Department of the Interior

A district court denied DOI's motion to dismiss an environmental group's lawsuit challenging OSM's determination that a surface mining permit could not be automatically terminated without first providing notice to the permit holder....

Defenders of Wildlife v. Jewell

A district court held that environmental groups may go forward with their ESA lawsuit challenging OSM's issuance of SMCRA permits for two surface coal mines. The groups alleged that OSM failed to adequately consider how wastewater...

Montana Environmental Information Center v. Stone-Manning

The Ninth Circuit held that it lacks subject matter jurisdiction over environmental groups' citizen suit challenging the Montana Department of Environmental Quality's potential approval of a surface mining permit. The groups argued that...

Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition v. Alex Energy, Inc.

A district court held that a mining company allowed excessive amounts of selenium to be discharged from one of its surface coal mine operations in violation of the CWA and SMCRA. The company's state permit does not explicitly impose...

Coal River Energy, LLC v. Jewell

The D.C. Circuit dismissed as untimely a coal mine operator’s lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a DOI regulation requiring coal mine operators to pay a fee for each ton of coal they produce by mining. The regulation requires...

National Parks Conservation Ass'n v. Jewell

A district court vacated a 2008 rule issued by the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) that governs the operation of coal mining activities near and through streams. The 2008 rule revised a 1983 rule, retaining...

National Mining Association v. Jackson

A district court held that EPA overstepped its statutory authority under the CWA and SMCRA when it issued guidance on Appalachian surface coal mining permits. EPA argued that the guidance was not final agency action and, thus, not...