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Indigenous Peoples Environmental

Read Indigenous Peoples Law updates, alerts, news, and legal analysis from leading lawyers and law firms:

Supreme Court Rejects First Nation’s Spiritual Objection to Ski Resort

On November 2, 2017, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) ruled in Ktunaxa Nation v. British Columbia (Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations) that a decision to approve the Jumbo Glacier Resort did not violate the...more

U.S. Supreme Court Considering Case with Major Implications for Western Water Rights

by Snell & Wilmer on

Several months ago, an earlier post in this blog described a decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that recognized a federal reserved water right to groundwater [see Ninth Circuit Holds that Federal Reserved Water...more

Currents - Energy Industry Insights - October 2017 #4

EPA to Restrict Scientific Advisers Who Get Agency Grants - "Pruitt did not say how restrictive the policy would be. But it has the potential to greatly reduce the body of expert scientists who could serve on the boards...more

Court Declines to Vacate Environmental Assessment of Dakota Access Pipeline, Permitting Oil to Flow during Remand

On October 11, 2017, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia declined to vacate the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (“Corps”) Environmental Assessment (“EA”) of the Dakota Access Pipeline while the agency...more

The Department of the Interior Proposes Additional Regulatory Hurdles to Restoring Tribal Homelands

On October 4, the Acting Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs proposed substantial changes to the current land into trust process by circulating a Consultation Draft to Tribal leaders. This new proposal impacts every Tribe....more

Court Holds Project Construction Constitutes “Mining” on Tribal Lands

by WilmerHale on

Last week, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held that excavation work performed by a private company when installing wind turbines constituted “mining” under the federal regulation governing mineral...more

Schwabe Defends Tribal Sovereignty

The trial team of Brien Flanagan, Aukjen Ingraham and Sarah Lawson successfully stood up to outside parties attempting to interfere in the Navajo Nation’s economic activity. Federal Judge Steven Logan granted the Navajo...more

Island Means Island: Pierce Atwood Successfully Defends Against Tribal Claim to Control State Waters

by Pierce Atwood LLP on

In 1980, the State of Maine, Congress, and Maine tribes entered into Settlement Acts to resolve claims that the tribes owned two-thirds of the State. In return for, among other things, federal recognition and money, the...more

United States Liable as an Owner Under CERCLA for Contamination on Navajo Reservation Land

by Snell & Wilmer on

Last week, a United States District Court in Arizona held that the United States was an “owner” of Navajo Reservation Trust Land for purposes of CERCLA liability. See El Paso Nat. Gas Co. v. United States, 2017 WL 3492993 (D....more

A 6 Step Guide to Tribal Consultation Under CEQA

The California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research recently issued a technical advisory aimed at providing guidelines for consultation with Native American tribes under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA),...more

California Governor Signs Climate Change Law Extending the Cap-And-Trade Program Until 2030

by Holland & Knight LLP on

AB 398 passed in both the California State Senate and Assembly with a two-thirds majority of bipartisan lawmakers. It received support from businesses and environmental advocates alike. Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill...more

The National Energy Board's Role in Crown Consultation

by Bennett Jones LLP on

On July 26, 2017, the Supreme Court released two seminal decisions that clarify the role of administrative tribunals, such as the National Energy Board ("NEB"), in fulfilling the Crown’s duty to consult with Indigenous...more

Funding Opportunities Available for Energy Development on Tribal Lands

by Holland & Knight LLP on

As the Trump Administration seeks to promote American energy independence, new funding opportunities for deploying tribal energy projects on tribal lands are now available. These opportunities are the first step by the...more

Indian Country Should Defend Environmental Protections

Doing exactly what he promised to do throughout his campaign, Donald Trump has been rolling back Obama-era environmental regulations since his first full day in office when he issued an executive order to expedite approval of...more

Canadian Government's Proposal to Reform Canada's Environmental Assessment and Regulatory Regime

by Bennett Jones LLP on

On June 29, 2017, the federal government released a discussion paper entitled "Environmental and Regulatory Reviews" ("Discussion Paper"), which proposes broad changes to the federal environmental assessment and regulatory...more

Local Taxes on Non-Indian Possessory Interests in Indian Country OK’d by Court - BB&K Wins Major Victory for Local Agencies...

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

In a major win affecting counties and local taxing entities throughout California, Best Best & Krieger LLP attorneys Roderick E. Walston and Steven G. Martin helped secure a federal court ruling that possessory interests held...more

Treaty Obligations to Protect Fish Habitat From Degradation Upheld

by Perkins Coie on

In July 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the state of Washington violated tribal treaty obligations by building and maintaining barrier culverts that block 1,000 linear miles of streams suitable...more

Ninth Circuit Expands Tribal Treaty Rights in Culvert Decision That Threatens Economic and Industrial Development on Fish-Bearing...

by Stoel Rives LLP on

In the matter of United States et al. v. Washington, case number 13-35474, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit concluded in 2016 that in building and maintaining barrier culverts, the State of Washington had...more

Foley Hoag Releases Summary Report on Good Practices for Oil Pipelines, as Commissioned by the Dakota Access Consortium of Lenders

On May 9, we released a public summary of our report “Good Practice for Managing the Social Impacts of Oil Pipelines in the United States.” The independent report was prepared by Amy Lehr, Cicely Parseghian, and Gare...more

Expert Panel’s Recommendations to Increase the Number, Cost and Timing of Federal Environmental Assessments

On April 5, 2017, the federal environmental assessment (EA) expert panel released its report, Building Common Ground: A New Vision for Impact Assessment in Canada. The report recommends broadening the scope of assessments to...more

A CEAA change

by Dentons on

The Expert Panel mandated by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to review federal environmental assessment processes has now delivered its report, Building Common Ground: A New Vision for Impact Assessment in...more

Environment: The Concept of Legal Personality – From Companies to Natural Entities?

by Latham & Watkins LLP on

New Zealand’s Parliament has just passed a bill to enable the Whanganui River to be recognised as a legal person. It will now be represented by two nominees: one appointed by the Maori community (or Iwi), and another...more

Two Bureau of Land Management Regulations on Life Support Under President Trump

by Jones Day on

The Trump Administration has signaled its intent to pull the plug on two rules issued by the U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Land Management ("BLM") in 2015 and 2016. Legal and legislative developments over the next...more

Trump Administration's Budget Blueprint Calls For Significant Impacts to Environmental Programs

by Holland & Knight LLP on

The Trump Administration unveiled significant rollbacks in funding for federal agencies when it released its Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again on March 16, 2017. The President's proposed budget priorities would...more

Ninth Circuit Holds that Federal Reserved Water Rights Extend to Groundwater

by Snell & Wilmer on

On March 7, 2017, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its decision in Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians v. Coachella Valley Water District, Case No. 15-55896. In this decision, the Court unequivocally held that...more

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