Montana

Court Rejects Water Pollution Permit for Rosebud Coal Mine (Press Release 3/18/16)

Yesterday the Montana First Judicial District Court ruled in favor of water quality and reinforced the state of Montana’s obligation to protect waterways from pollution caused by coal mining. The court rejected a water pollution discharge permit that would have allowed the Rosebud Mine to dump toxic heavy metals and other harmful pollutants into state waters without limits. Western Energy Company’s Rosebud Mine is the second largest strip mine in Montana. It supplies about 12 million tons of coal per year to the Colstrip Power Plant, in Colstrip, Montana.

Citizen Groups Challenge Plans to Green Light Huge Fossil Fuel Development in Powder River Basin (Press Release 3/15/16)

3/15/2016
BLM Plans Span 10 Million Acres, 81 Billion Tons of Coal

A plan to keep open vast amounts of public land in Montana and Wyoming for fossil fuel development and drilling is short-sighted and fails to consider dramatic changes in energy markets that make such thinking both obsolete and financially risky, a coalition of conservation groups contend in a lawsuit filed today.

Montana Board of Environmental Review Rejects Coal Mine Expansion (Press Release 10/20/15)

10/20/2015
MT DEQ Permit Did Not Adequately Protect Groundwater

On Friday, the Montana Board of Environmental Review rejected a Department of Environmental Quality coal mine expansion permit that would have doubled the size of the Bull Mountains mine near Roundup, making it the largest underground coal mine in the nation. Representing the Montana Environmental Information Center and the Sierra Club, the Western Environmental Law Center argued successfully that DEQ's hydrology analysis for the permit was flawed.

Court Approves Settlement to Save Imperiled Lynx from Trapping (Press Release 9/23/15)

9/23/2015
New Regulations in Lynx Habitat Will Protect Montana’s Rare Cats

Yesterday, the federal district court of Montana approved a settlement agreement reached between the State of Montana and conservation groups aimed at protecting threatened Canada lynx from trapping. The case is now dismissed in accordance with the agreement, which requires Montana to implement a set of reasonable restrictions on trapping in lynx habitat. The agreement also keeps the wolverine trapping season closed in Montana. The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission approved the settlement’s new regulations in July but the agreement required approval by the court.

Federal Agency Fails to Protect Water and Air Quality from Massive Coal Mine Expansion (Press Release 8/17/15)

8/17/2015
Conservation Groups Forced to take legal action

Today, Montana conservation groups were forced to take legal action to protect water and air quality from a massive expansion at the Bull Mountains coal mine near Roundup. Earlier this year the federal government approved a 100-million-ton expansion at the mine, setting it up to become the largest underground coal mine in the country, with only cursory environmental review. Expansion of the mine will increase air and water pollution, threaten the livelihood of nearby ranchers, and exacerbate climate change.

Montana Approves Restrictions on Trapping to Save Imperiled Lynx (Press Release 7/9/15)

7/09/2015
New Regulations in Lynx Habitat Aimed at Protecting Rare Cats

Today, the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission approved a set of reasonable restrictions on trapping in Canada lynx habitat recommended by the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks in an agreement with three conservation organizations who challenged the state’s failure to adequately safeguard the protected cats.

Lynx lawsuit settlement to go out for public comment (Helena Independent Record 5/14/15)

5/14/2015

Trappers in two areas of Montana with populations of threatened Canada Lynx may have new regulations in the coming season in the wake of a settlement reached between Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and three environmental groups.

Fish and Wildlife Commission gives inital OK on trapping restrictions (Bozeman Daily Chronicle 5/14/15)

5/14/2015

The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission gave initial approval Thursday to new trapping restrictions that stem from a settlement reached on a 2013 lawsuit filed against Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks over trapping in Canada lynx habitat.

“As always a settlement is a compromise, and we think we have a good compromise here,” said Aimee Fausser, an FWP attorney.

Court affirms forest planning rule (News 5/2/15)

5/04/2015

A U.S. District judge is outlining her rationale for rejecting a challenge of a federal that requires the U.S. Forest Service to rely on science and conservation biology when developing forest plans.

Court Throws Out Industry Challenge to 2012 Forest Rules (Press Release 4/30/15)

4/30/2015
USFS Will Continue to Use Science and Conservation Biology in Forest Plans

In March 2015, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of the D.C. District Court issued an order rejecting an extractive industry challenge to the Obama Administration’s National Forest Management Act 2012 Forest Planning Rule. The challenge alleged that the rule inappropriately requires the U.S. Forest Service to use science and conservation biology when creating new forest plans, which guide management on 191 million acres of national forests. On April 28, the judge issued her opinion setting forth the basis for her decision.

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