GREAT FALLS, Mont. (Legal Newsline) — Environmental groups are suing the U.S. Interior Department, alleging violation of federal law.

Citizens for Clean Energy, Ecocheyenne, Montana Environmental Information Center, Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, the Sierra Club and Wildearth Guardians and The Northern Cheyenne Tribe filed a complaint March 29 in U.S. District Court for the District of Montana against U.S. Department of the Interior; the U.S. secretary of the interior; and U.S. Bureau of Land Management, alleging they illegally issued a decision to repeal a moratorium that impacts the environment.

According to the complaint, the plaintiffs challenge the decision of Interior Department wherein it would damage the environment of Native American lands in Montana. The plaintiffs allege the defendants repealed a moratorium on coal leasing, which opened the door to new coal leasing and potential consequences to the environment without first performing an environmental review of the land in Montana.

The plaintiffs seek to declare the defendants violated the NEPA, declare the defendants violated the APA, declare the defendant violated their trust duty to the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, set aside and vacate the defendant's decision to end the coal leasing moratorium, enjoin further federal coal leasing, attorney fees and court costs, plus all relief the court deems just. 

They are represented by attorneys Michael Saul of Center for Biological Diversity in Denver, Anchun Jean Su of the Center for Biological Diversity in Oakland and by Joshua Osborne-Klein and Wyatt F. Golding of Ziontz Chestnut in Seattle.

U.S. District Court for the District of Montana Case number 4:17-cv-00030-BMM 

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U.S. Department of Interior
1849 C St NW
Washington, DC - 20240

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