Groups Sue BLM
A coalition of groups has challenged five Bureau of Land Management oil and gas lease sales encompassing 112 parcels and 58,297 acres of public lands in central and eastern Montana and North Dakota. The lawsuit, filed in Great Falls, says the agency failed to fully assess the potential harm oil and gas extraction would have on the area’s groundwater and ignored cumulative climate impacts.
The challenged sales occurred between July 2019 and September 2020. Earthjustice and the Western Environmental Law Center represent WildEarth Guardians, Sierra Club, the Center for Biological Diversity, Montana Environmental Information Center, and Waterkeeper Alliance in the litigation.
The lawsuit follows a case filed in 2018 by some of the same groups in which a judge ruled the agency failed to adequately consider climate impacts and water supply risks from oil and gas drilling on 145,063 acres.