Miners Beat Babbitt
Northwest Mining Association (NWMA), represented by Mountain States Legal Foundation, prevailed in federal court over Interior Secretary Babbitt in May. A federal judge ruled that mining rules ordered by Babbitt were adopted illegally.
NWMA challenged Babbitts new bonding regulations governing hard rock mining activities on BLM administered land. The rules, which were adopted more than 5½ years after the public comment period closed, were declared invalid by Judge June Green of the US District Court for the District of Columbia. She found that the BLM violated the Regulatory Flexibility Act by using an unlawful definition of "small mining companies," and by failing to consider the economic impacts of the final rules on small businesses per RFA.
In her decision, Judge Green concluded: "While recognizing the public interest in preserving the environment, the Court also recognizes the public interest in preserving the rights of parties which are affected by government regulation to be adequately informed when their interests are at stake and to participate in the regulatory process as directed by Congress."
-- The Heritage Foundation