Modrall Sperling Law Firm

Minerals for New Technologies and Low Carbon Economies

Co-Authored by Stuart Butzier – Modrall Sperling and Casper Herler – Borenius Attorneys, Helsinki, Finland Originally printed in the Newsletter of the International Bar Association’s Mining Law Committee…

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Court Affirms Contested Mine Permit Revision Changing Underground Uranium Mine from Standby to Active Status

In an appeal on the record taken by environmental groups pursuant to Rule 1-074 NMRA, the First Judicial District Court in Santa Fe affirmed a significant revision of Mt. Taylor Mine’s existing mine permit originally issued decades ago under the 1993 New…

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Water Quality Control Commission Unanimously Upholds Proposed Mine’s Groundwater Discharge Permit Issued Under the Copper Rule

On August 13–14, 2019, in what many view as bellwether cases, the New Mexico Environment Department’s (NMED) Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) decided two administrative appeal challenges to the first-ever groundwater discharge permit (DP) issued by NMED to a proposed new copper…

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New Mexico Produced Water Act

The New Mexico Legislature passed by an overwhelming majority, and Governor Lujan Grisham signed, the Produced Water Act, a bipartisan effort to encourage and facilitate the recycling and reuse of produced water by oil and gas producers and the conservation of fresh…

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Tenth Circuit Overturns BLM’s Mancos Shale Oil and Gas APD Approvals

Dine’ Citizens Against Ruining our Environment, an environmental non-governmental organization (NGO) and other environmental groups (collectively, Dine’ CARE), brought suit against the United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Secretary of the Interior, challenging the BLM’s compliance with the National…

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Annual Environmental Law Update

This paper was originally published by the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation in the Proceedings of the 64th Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute (2018) This chapter highlights…

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Executive Order Expediting Environmental Reviews and Approvals for High Priority Infrastructure Projects

On his second day in office, President Trump issued several executive orders and memoranda intended to overhaul the environmental review and approval process for pipeline and other infrastructure projects. Among them was EO 13755, intended to expedite environmental reviews and approvals for…

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Wind River Reservation Held Diminished: EPA’s Contrary Determination Set Aside Despite EPA Reliance on Solicitor Opinion

On February 22, 2017, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision finding that the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming, established by, as relevant here, an 1896 treaty, was diminished by a 1905 Act of Congress in which the Eastern Shoshone…

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EPA Publishes Final Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule

On November 28, 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) published the final RCRA Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule (“HWGI Rule”). See 81 FR 85732, November 28, 2016. The HWGI Rule is one of the most significant and comprehensive hazardous waste rulemakings that…

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BLM’s Venting and Flaring Proposal

On February 8, 2016, the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) published its proposed rule concerning Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation in the Federal Register (the “Proposed Rule” or “proposal”).  See 81 Fed. Reg. 25, at 6616-6686, available at http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en.html.  While the…

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