VICTORY! Rosebud Coal Mine Clean Water Act Challenge

When the Montana Department of Environmental Quality issued a Montana Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (MPDES) permit – a permit to discharge pollution- to the Rosebud coal mine that does not protect clean water or even comply with the federal Clean Water Act, WELC stepped in.

We argued in court that instead of truly addressing the issues of existing water pollution and impaired waterways, the permit allowed Rosebud coal mine to avoid its responsibilities, ignoring water contamination that eventually flows into the Yellowstone River from the mining operation.

In 2016, the Montana First Judicial District Court rejected the 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.

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