Montana Regulator Skirts Suit Over Coal Mining Permitting

Law360, New York (January 23, 2013, 3:24 PM EST) -- A Montana federal judge on Tuesday threw out a suit against a state regulator alleging neglect in coal mining permitting decisions, ruling that sovereign immunity requires the environmental groups to lodge the complaint in state court instead.

U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen said Sierra Club and the Montana Environmental Information Center cannot utilize the citizen suit exception in the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act to pursue action against Montana Department of Environmental Quality Director Richard Opper because the allegations deal with state law.

The environmental groups said...
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