News & Updates from WAGLAC
July 12th, 2021
The WAGLAC Fall meeting will be held in Seattle, WA in early October, 2021.
The WAGLAC Winter meeting will be held in San Diego, CA during the week of President's Day, 2022. Meeting details will follow.
Court Strikes Down Ill. Lawsuit In Maui Mold
E&E News
July 8, 2021

"A federal appeals court last week tossed out a lawsuit similar to a landmark Clean Water Act case that made its
way to the nation's highest bench last year — but the court did not reach the core question in the dispute.

The challenge from the Prairie Rivers Network (PRN) against Dynegy Midwest Generation LLC in Illinois echoed County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund, which asked whether pollution that moves through groundwater on its way to federally protected waters is subject to permitting requirements under the Clean Water Act. In a ruling issued last year in the Maui case, the Supreme Court said that groundwater contamination is covered under a specific set of circumstances.

The decision allowed several cases, including PRN's, to advance after being placed on ice pending the outcome of Maui."
Water Quality Ruling Wasn’t One Of The Court’s Finest Moments
Iowa Capital Dispatch
June 23, 2021

"The Supreme Court reversed the order of the district court denying Defendants' motion to dismiss this petition seeking to force Defendants to enact legislation that will compel Iowa farmers to take action that will significantly reduce levels of nitrogen and phosphorus in the Raccoon River, holding that the motion to dismiss should have been granted.

Plaintiffs - two social justice organizations - brought this case against Defendants - the State, four state agencies, and multiple state officials - seeking declaratory relief and to compel the State to adopt a "Raccoon River remedial plan with mandatory agricultural water pollution controls." Defendants moved to dismiss the petition based on lack of standing, nonjusticiability, and failure to exhaust administrative remedies. The district court denied the motion. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the petition's attenuated causation theory was insufficient to establish that Plaintiffs' members suffered a concrete injury at the hands of Defendants that a favorable court decision was likely to redress; and (2) Plaintiffs' effort to repurpose the public trust doctrine to solve a complex environmental problem presented a nonjusticiable political question."
More Power Lines or Rooftop Solar Panels: The Fight Over Energy’s Future
The New York Times
July 11, 2021

"The nation is facing once in a generation choices about how energy ought to be delivered to homes, businesses and electric cars — decisions that could shape the course of climate change and determine how the United States copes with wildfires, heat waves and other extreme weather linked to global warming.

On one side, large electric utilities and President Biden want to build thousands of miles of power lines to move electricity created by distant wind turbines and solar farms to cities and suburbs. On the other, some environmental organizations and community groups are pushing for greater investment in rooftop solar panels, batteries and local wind turbines."
Clay Smith, the American Indian Law Deskbook chief editor, summarizes Indian law decisions assigned headnotes by Westlaw to facilitate the Deskbook’s annual revision.

Please reach out to Clay for questions regarding obtaining a copy of the American Indian Law Deskbook.
Indian Law Case Summaries
All summaries are posted in CWAG's google docs account, accessible through the link below. Should you have any issues with the links, contact Andrea Friedman with any questions.
Fredericks v. U.S. Dept. of Interior, ___ F. Supp. 3d ___, 2021 WL 2778575 (D.D.C. Jul. 2, 2021)Plaintiff remaindermen were not entitled to a preliminary injunction with respect to payments to a without-regard-to-waste life tenant under a Fort Berthold Mineral Leasing Act lease.
Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation v. U.S. Dep’t of Interior, ___ F.4th ___, 2021 WL 2799956 (D.C. Cir. Jul. 6, 2021)District court properly denied on Article III standing grounds a tribe’s motion to intervene in a suit by another tribe challenging a DOI Indian lands opinion that concluded the latter tribe did not qualify for the restored-lands exception under section 20 of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
Ak-Chin Indian Community v. Maricopa-Stanfield Irrigation & Drainage District, ___ F. Supp. 3d ___, 2021 WL 2805609 (D. Ariz. Jul. 6, 2021)Counterclaim against a tribe and a crossclaim against the United States in a suit over irrigation canal water quality were dismissed on sovereign immunity grounds.
Manzano v. Southern Indian Health Council, Inc., ___ F. Supp. 3d ___, 2021 WL 2826072 (S.D. Cal. Jul. 7, 2021)State-incorporated multi-tribe health consortium located on off-reservation trust land constituted an arm of the constituent tribes and was therefore entitled to immunity in a wrongful termination action by a former employee.
Penobscot Nation v. Frey, ___ F.4th ___, 2021 WL 2850139 (1st Cir. Jul. 8, 2021) (en banc)“Penobscot Indian Reservation,” as defined in the Maine Implementing Act, does not include the waters and submerged lands of the Penobscot River Main Stem, and no justiciable controversy exists over whether Maine is interfering with tribal sustenance fishing rights in the Main Stem.
AG Alliance Cannabis Newsletter

If you are interested in following cannabis law developments, please sign up for the AG Alliance cannabis newsletter by emailing Cole White at [email protected].
Western Attorneys General Litigation Action Committee
CWAG oversees and coordinates the Western Attorneys General Litigation Action Committee (WAGLAC), which consists of assistant attorneys general involved in litigation related to the environment, natural resources, public lands and Indian law. WAGLAC was formed over 40 years ago and meets three times per year to discuss the latest developments in these areas of the law. AGO staff gain important contacts throughout the country in these important areas of the law.
CWAG | [email protected] | (208) 850-7792 | WWW.CWAGWEB.ORG
Contributions For WAGLAC Newsletter
We rely on our readers to send us links for the WAGLAC Newsletter. If you have or know of a recent (published in the last two weeks) case, statute or article relating to natural resources, environment, Indian law or federalism that you would like us to consider for inclusion in the Newsletter, please send it to Clive Strong. For a complete database of all previously published WAGLAC newsletters, please follow the link below.