WAGLAC News & Updates
July 29, 2019
WAGLAC Fall Meeting
October 21 - 22, 2019
Marriott Scottsdale at McDowell Mountains
Scottsdale, Arizona
In addition to the roundtable discussion of natural resource, environmental, and Indian law cases, there will be a CLE on Indian Law Issues. 
WAGLAC Winter Meeting
February 17 - 18, 2020
Westin San Diego
San Diego, California
In addition to the roundtable discussion of natural resource, environmental, and Indian law cases, there will be a CLE on Water Law Issues. Please plan to arrive February 16th, the contracted room rate is $209/night.
Automakers, Rejecting Trump Pollution Rule, Strike a Deal With California
The New York Times
July 25, 2019

"Four of the world’s largest automakers have struck a deal with California to reduce automobile emissions, siding with the state in its fight with President Trump over one of his most consequential regulatory rollbacks.

In coming weeks, the Trump administration is expected to all but eliminate an Obama-era regulation designed to reduce vehicle emissions that contribute to global warming. California and 13 other states have vowed to keep enforcing the stricter rules, potentially splitting the United States auto market in two.

With car companies facing the prospect of having to build two separate lineups of vehicles, they opened secretive talks with California regulators in which the automakers — Ford Motor Company, Volkswagen of America, Honda and BMW — won rules that are slightly less restrictive than the Obama standards and that they can apply to vehicles sold nationwide.

The agreement provides “much-needed regulatory certainty,” the companies said in a joint statement, while enabling them to “meet both federal and state requirements with a single national fleet, avoiding a patchwork of regulations.”
State Attorneys General Speak Out On CWAG 401 Guidance

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry submitted comments on behalf of 7 state attorneys general supporting EPA’s efforts to revise its CWA Section 401 Guidance. In his letter, General Landry said: “EPA should update guidance to emphasize the appropriate review standard of “reasonable assurance” to deter states from setting prohibitively higher, standards.” . . . Without further clarification, WQC abuse will continue delaying projects of great national importance. Individual state actors should be disallowed from unilaterally imposing extra-statutory requirements on applicants to the detriment of other states and the nation as a whole under the guise of implementing federal law.”
California Attorney General submitted comments on behalf of 14 state attorneys general opposing EPA’s CWA 401 Guidance. “In the comment letter, Attorney General Becerra asserts that EPA’s guidance, which implements President Trump’s April 2019 Executive Order, is unlawful, directly contravenes both the language and intent of the Clean Water Act, and undermines state authority recognized under the Clean Water Act.” To avoid confusion the letter requests “that EPA withdraw the Guidance and formally reinstate EPA’s prior Section 401 guidance that was rescinded on June 7, 2019.” 
Public Land Ownership in the United States
Headwaters Economics
June, 2019

"Nearly 40% of the United States is public land, supported by taxpayers and managed by federal, state, or local governments. The Protected Areas Database of the United States (PADUS)—managed by the U.S. Geological Survey—is America’s official inventory of protected areas and was recently updated. The map tool below provides detail for every county in the U.S. Hover over a county to see the land ownership breakdown. Detailed reports can be downloaded by clicking on a county. The chart and table below provide state-level summaries."
Advocate for Federal Land Sales Ascends to Top at BLM
E&E News
July 25, 2019

"William Perry Pendley, a conservative lawyer who has supported the selling of millions of acres of federal lands to Western states, is now the top political official overseeing the Bureau of Land Management — only a week after
joining the agency.

Pendley, who until December served as president of the conservative law firm Mountain States Legal Foundation, was appointed BLM deputy director of policy and programs last week (Greenwire, July 15). But now Pendley is listed on BLM's online organization chart, along with BLM Deputy Director of Operations Mike Nedd, as leading the bureau that manages 245 million acres of public lands, mostly in the West."
WGA Urges “Fundamental Changes” to Improve State-Federal Relationship
Western Governor's Association
July 22, 2019

"The Western Governors’ Association (WGA) shared recommendations to improve the state-federal relationship with the House Committee on Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations in advance of its July 23, 2019 hearing, 'Restoring the Partnership: The Future of Federalism in America.'"
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 note, The 2019 Edition now appears on Westlaw under the Secondary Sources/Texts & Treatises category. We anticipate that the hardbound version will be out later this month
Recent Indian Law Case Summaries
Cedar Band of Paiutes v. U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development , ___ F. Supp. 3d ___, 2019 WL 3305919 (D. Utah July 23, 2019) Tribal Plaintiffs established a likelihood of success and the other necessary elements for a preliminary injunction in an Administrative Procedure Act judicial review proceeding challenging an agency letter adding certain requirements before a governmental entity could provide downpayment assistance for Federal Housing Authority insured mortgage loans.
Moody v. United States , ___ F.3d ___, 2019 WL 3309394 (Fed. Cir. July 24, 2019) Lessees did not state an express or implied contract or a takings claim against the United States with respect to termination of two leases for agricultural lands held in trust for a tribe.
Flute v. United States , ___ F. Supp. 3d ___, 2019 WL 3325353 (D.S.D. July 24, 2019) Claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act against an independent contractor physician and a clinic director at an Indian Health Service reservation hospital are governed by state law, and the plaintiffs therefore had the obligation to establish as to the clinic director that Nebraska statutes or case law recognize an action in tort for negligent supervision of an independent contractor.
Landreth v. United States , ___ Fed. Cl. ___, 2019 WL 3335012 (July 24, 2019) Court of Federal Claims lacked jurisdiction over various claims by an owner of land adjacent to Lake Quinault alleging improper acts by the Quinault Indian Tribe.
All summaries are posted in CWAG's google docs acc ount, accessible through the link below. Should you have any issues with the links, contact Andrea Friedman with any questions.
Updated  American Indian Law Deskbook  Is Now Available

The  American Indian Law Deskbook is a concise, direct, and easy-to-understand handbook on Indian law. The chapter authors of this book are experienced state lawyers who have been involved in Indian law for many years.

American Indian Law Deskbook addresses the areas of Indian law most relevant to the practitioner.
Topics include:
  • Definitions of Indians and Indian tribes
  • Indian lands
  • Criminal, civil regulatory, and civil adjudicatory jurisdiction
  • Civil rights
  • Indian water rights
  • Fish and wildlife
  • Environmental regulation
  • Taxation
  • Gaming
  • Indian Child Welfare Act and tribal-state cooperative agreements
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 30 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.
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@cwagweb.org. For a complete, searchable database of all previously published WAGLAC newsletters, please follow the link below.