Tribal Lands

News & Analysis as of

Federal Court Issues Permanent Injunction and Permanently Shuts Down Santa Ysabel’s Desert Rose Bingo

On December 12, 2016, Judge Battaglia of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California issued the Court’s long-awaited ruling on the State of California and Federal Government’s motions for summary...more

Clean Water Act Nationwide Permits Reissued: Permit Streamlining Remains Intact

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) on Jan. 6, 2017, published a final rule reissuing its Clean Water Act Nationwide Permits (NWPs) with some modifications (88 Fed. Reg. 1860). The NWP program authorizes streamlined...more

The Path Forward for Industrial Hemp in Indian Country

On Oct. 24, 2016, Reuters and Forbes reported that the Navajo Nation, whose reservation is the largest by square miles in the United States, was in the final stages of partnering with CannaNative to grow industrial hemp on...more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar

NEW REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS - Federal - - Program Requirement Revisions Related to the Public Water System Supervision Programs for Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont - EPA is giving notice that...more

Secretary of Interior Nominee Willing to Work for Tribes

President-Elect Donald Trump has officially announced Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.) as his nominee for Secretary of the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI). During his time in Congress, Zinke has addressed various DOI issues...more

Federal Appeals Court to Determine Tribal Reserved Rights to Groundwater

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will soon determine whether the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians has a federal reserved right to groundwater in a water rights case that could set a precedent for tribes across the...more

Best Practices for Tribes When Faced with Union Organizing Activity

Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a case involving a dispute between the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The U.S. Supreme Court's decision effectively...more

DOE Funding Opportunity for Clean Energy Projects in Indian Country

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs issued a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) on Nov. 15, 2016, to deploy funds for clean energy and energy efficiency projects in Indian...more

Environmental Litigation and Toxic Torts Update – Mountain/West Coast Case Law Highlights

Ninth Circuit Issues Major Cercla Decision Finding That Arranger Liability Cannot Be Based On Contamination Deposited On A Site By The Wind - Pakootas v. Teck Cominco Metals, No. 15-35228, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13662 (9th...more

Massachusetts Gaming Update: The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe’s Revised Game Plan

Tribal gaming may have endured a setback, but perhaps not a complete elimination in the Massachusetts gaming arena. When a U.S. District Court judge determined the federal government erred in approving the Mashpee Wampanoag...more

Gubernatorial Action that has Land Use Consequences is not a an Illegal Exercise of Legislative Power

On October 13, 2016, the Court of Appeal for the Third Appellate District affirmed a trial court’s decision to grant a demurrer filed on behalf of Governor Jerry Brown following his concurrence with the Secretary of the...more

Federal Court in North Carolina Holds That Impracticability of Arbitration Clause Which Required Decision Within 30 Days of...

Tribal Casino Gaming Enterprise v. W.G. Yates & Sons Constr. Co., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86100 (W.D. NC July 1, 2016) - Tribal Casino Gaming Enterprise (the “Casino”) contracted with joint general contractors, W.G. Yates...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - September 2016

Environmental and Policy Focus - Governor Brown and lawmakers reach deal for California climate funds - San Diego Union-Tribune - Aug 31 - California lawmakers on Wednesday approved a $900 million spending...more

Ninth Circuit Rejects CERCLA Liability for Air Emissions

Do air emissions of hazardous substances create a cleanup liability under the Superfund? In the closely watched case of Pakootas, et al. v. Teck Cominco Metals, Ltd., the Ninth Circuit said, “no,” becoming the highest court...more

Supreme Court’s Environmental and Administrative Law Decisions in 2015-2016 Term

This Advisory briefly reports on some of the significant U.S. Supreme Court actions from January through June 2016 related to environmental and administrative law. Please see full Publication below for more information. ...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - July 2016 #5

Environmental and Policy Focus - State Supreme Court rules in state’s favor on Delta property rights - Sacramento Bee - Jul 21 - The California Supreme Court ruled last Thursday that the state has the right to...more

Ninth Circuit Holds Air Emissions Not Covered by CERCLA

Decision finds operator of a lead and zinc smelter not liable as an “arranger” under CERCLA for aerial deposition of heavy metals. On July 27, a panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit unanimously held...more

New Ninth Circuit Decision Precluding CERCLA Liability for Airborne Emissions

Yesterday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued in the long-running Pakootas v. Teck Cominco Metals, Ltd. litigation another important decision further defining the scope of liability under the federal Comprehensive...more

Tribal Enrollment Inquiry Leads to $2 Million FCC Settlement with Blue Jay Wireless

On July 15, the FCC issued an Order approving a consent decree between Blue Jay Wireless and the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau, ending the Bureau’s investigation into whether Blue Jay’s Tribal Lifeline enrollments in Hawaii from...more

Arbitration award on tribal igaming with non-US players

An arbitration award by a sole arbitrator recently approved a submission by the State of Oklahoma and the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma as to the legality of internet gaming in which the server is located on Indian lands in Oklahoma...more

Court Decision Dismisses Challenge to Gun Lake Band’s Trust Land

Last Friday, July 15, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the constitutionality of the Gun Lake Trust Land Reaffirmation Act. Because the Court agreed with the D.C. District Court's finding of constitutionality, it...more

Supreme Court Declines to Consider Curtailing NLRB’s Authority over Michigan Tribal Casinos

Recently, two Michigan tribes petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) authority to regulate labor practices at their casinos. Unfortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to...more

Controversy Over Interior’s Trust Authority in Alaska Remains Unresolved

A majority panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently dismissed the State of Alaska’s challenge to the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s authority to acquire land in trust for Alaska...more

Court Rules BLM Had No Authority To Regulate Fracking On Federal and Native American Lands

In March 2015, the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) issued regulations applying to hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands. 80 Fed. Reg. 16,128–16,222 (Mar. 26, 2015) (the “Fracking Rule”). The states of Wyoming,...more

If You Build It, They Will Get Just Compensation

One thousand nine hundred fifty-four (1,954) miles: the length of the United States’ border with Mexico, and the possible future site for President Donald Trump’s infamous Great Wall. The Wall has been a calling card of the...more

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