Seeking Tribal Government Comments on Proposed NEPA Rules

Recently, the White House Council on Environmental Quality released new proposed rules for the National Environmental Policy Act. The proposed rules would significantly change the environmental permitting process and gut the review process, impacting tribal interests throughout Indian Country.

Comments are now open. Anyone, individuals or tribal governments, may submit comments on these rules. Importantly, comments and collecting evidence of negative impacts are very important at this stage in the process to preserve future legal claims. Tribal governments are strongly encouraged to submit comments. Comments are open until March 10, 2020.

Currently, the MSU Indian Law Clinic is collaborating with Earthjustice to create a general comment letter to submit regarding how the proposed rules impact tribal interests. Additionally, Earthjustice is seeking to support and assist tribes who would like to submit a comment letter. Please contact Stefanie Tsosie (Senior Associate Attorney at Earthjustice) here if you have questions or would like further assistance drafting a comment letter.

For more information on the proposed NEPA rules, please see this NEPA Factsheet and this article in NPR about the impacts of these rules.

Tenth Circuit (Barely) Keeps Alive Caddo Nation Suit against Wichita and Affiliated Tribes

Here is the unpublished opinion in Caddo Nation v. Wichita and Affiliated Tribes.

Briefs here.

Tenth Circuit Holds BLM Violated NEPA in Approving Chaco Canyon Fracking

Here is the opinion in Diné Citizens Against Ruining Our Environment v. Bernhardt.

Briefs here.

Yellowstone Bison Environmental Suit Dismissed

Here are the materials in Cottonwood Environmental Law Center v. Bernhardt (D. Mont.):

33 Motion to File Second Amended Complaint + Proposed Complaint

36 State Response to 33

38 Federal Response to 33

39 Reply in Support of 33

45 DCT Order Granting 33

48 Federal Motion to Dismiss

50 State Motion to Dismiss

53 Plaintiff Motion to Stay

54 Response to 48 and 50

57 Federal Reply in Support of 48

58 State Reply in Support of 50

62 Reply in Support of 53

81 DCt Order

Tenth Circuit Briefs in Diné Citizens Against Ruining Our Environment v. Zinke [Chaco Canyon Fracking]


Opening Brief

Amicus Brief

federal brief

intervenors brief

navajo allottees amicus brief

Lower court materials here.

Federal Court Rejects Diné CARE Challenge to Fracking Near Chaco Canyon

Here are the materials in Diné Citizens Against Ruining Our Environment v. Zinke (D.N.M.):

112 dine care opening brief

113 us response

117 reply

132 dct order


Chilkat Indian Village Suit over Mining Affecting Chilkat River [updated]

Here is the complaint in Chilkat Indian Village v. Bureau of Land Management (D. Alaska):

1 Complaint

43 Chilkat MSJ

57 Intervenor Opposition

58 Federal Opposition

59 Reply

61 DCT Order