WAGLAC News & Updates
June 3, 2019
WAGLAC Summer Meeting
June 24 - 25, 2019
Double Tree by Hilton
Park City, Utah
In addition to the roundtable discussion of natural resource, environmental, and Indian law cases, there will be a CLE on public lands issues.  Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden will discuss the fiduciary duties of state trust land managers. 
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. 
Challenge to Lax Air Rules Crumbles at DC Circuit
Courthouse News
May 31, 2019

"The D.C. Circuit signed off on new EPA regulations that give states a break on monitoring dangerous air quality.

Adopted in 2016 as part of the Clean Air Act, the EPA changed its process of reviewing and approving state plans, and it made it that states would be permitted to sample less frequently on a case-by-case basis.

The Sierra Club filed suit over the move that May, saying the weakened rules would leave vulnerable people in the dark about the quality of the air they breathe.

Though the D.C. Circuit dispatched the challenge Friday on largely procedural grounds, the three-judge panel also chided the Sierra Club for not substantiating its claim that EPA ignored objections before enacting the changes to quality-assurance requirements."
Significant Impact Levels for Ozone and Fine Particles
Environmental Protection Agency

"EPA has finalized the guidance and supporting documents recommending Significant Impact levels (SILs) for ozone and fine particle pollution that may be used in the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permitting program. SILs have been used in the PSD permitting process for many years to help permit applicants and permitting authorities determine whether proposed construction may be authorized in a Clean Air Act (CAA) permit. These improvements will potentially reduce the cost and time for manufacturers to obtain this type of air pollution permit from states, local permitting authorities and EPA. "
Court Sides With WOTUS Foes As Legal Fight Gets Messier
May 29, 2019

The United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas Galveston Division held the Obama Administration 2015 WOTUS rule was promulgated in violation of the APA. The found that the Final Rule was not a logical outgrowth of the Proposed Rule and that interested parties were prevented “from commenting on the studies that served as the technical basis for the rule. As the courts have held, ‘[a]n agency commits serious procedural error when it fails to reveal portions of the technical basis for a proposed rule in time to allow for meaningful commentary.’” The District Court remanded the case to EPA, but left its prior injunction in place. As reported in E&E News, however, the scope of the injunction has been narrowed as a result of Colorado and New Mexico withdrawing from the case
Oregon Votes To Ban Restaurants From Offering Plastic Straws
AP News
May 30, 2019

"Oregon will ban restaurants from automatically offering single-use plastic straws under a measure passed by lawmakers, making it the second state to enact restrictions on plastic straws.

The House voted 48-12 to prohibit restaurants from providing single-use plastic straws unless a customer asks. Drive-thrus could still offer straws, as could health care facilities."
Court Orders New Hearing for Groups Trying to Ban Ammo in Kaibab
Cronkite News
May 30, 2019

"A federal appeals court ordered a new hearing for environmental groups trying to ban the use of lead shot in Kaibab National Forest that they said poses a threat to endangered California condors.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said a district court was wrong to reject the lawsuit – for a second time – that claimed the U.S. Forest Service was “contributing to … disposal” of dangerous solid waste by not banning lead ammunition."
A 'Moral Obligation:' Idaho, Oregon Speakers Really for Secure Rural Schools Endowment
Idaho News
May 30, 2019

“U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and Jim Risch, R-Idaho, reintroduced legislation to provide much-needed financial certainty for rural counties to ensure they have the long-term funding needed for schools, road maintenance, law enforcement and other essential services. The bipartisan Forest Management for Rural Stability Act, which the senators first introduced in December 2018, makes the Secure Rural Schools program—which expired at the end of FY 2018—permanent by creating an endowment fund to provide stable, increasing and reliable funding for county services.”
Idaho Power Clears Hurdle in Hells Canyon License Renewal
E&E News
May 30, 2019

"Idaho and Oregon have completed key elements in a process that will allow the license renewal for a major hydroelectric project on the Snake River on the Idaho-Oregon border, an Idaho utility said.

Idaho Power said the two states approved the company's water quality certification for the Hells Canyon Complex. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will now review the certification."
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
United States v. Smith , ___ F.3d ___, 2019 WL 2263344 (9th Cir. May 28, 2019) The Indian Country Crimes Act incorporated through the Assimilated Crimes Act a state law prohibition against fleeing or attempting to evade a police officer, and the Indian-against-Indian exception from federal prosecution in the ICCA’s second paragraph did not apply to this victimless crime.
People in Interest of L.R.B. , 2019 COA 85, ___ P.3d ___ (Colo. Ct. App. May 30, 2019) Denial of a tribe’s motion to transfer jurisdiction for preadoptive and adoptive purposes under the Indian Child Welfare Act was immediately appealable under the collateral order doctrine; former foster parents lacked standing to object to transfer motion; and district court possessed authority under state statute implementing the ICWA to entertain motion and erred in denying it in the absence of contrary good cause.
Jim v. Shiprock Associated Schools, Inc. , ___ F. Supp. 3d ___, 2019 WL 2295918 (D.N.M. May 29, 2019) Non-profit tribally-controlled entity incorporated under state law constituted an “Indian tribe” exempt from coverage under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
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.