From our private database of 14,100+ case briefs...
Mineral Policy Center v. Norton
United States District Court for the District of Columbia
292 F. Supp. 2d 30 (2003)
The Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA), 43 U.S.C. § 1732(b), required the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) (defendant) to take any action necessary to prevent the unnecessary or undue degradation (UUD) of public lands. In 1980, the BLM issued regulations that used a prudent-operator standard to interpret the UUD requirement. In 2000, the regulations were amended to include a more stringent standard of substantial irreparable harm (SIH). The SIH standard allowed the BLM to deny mining plans of operations that would cause substantial irreparable harm to significant scientific, cultural, or environmental resources. Following a change in administration, the BLM wrote an opinion finding that the SIH standard could not be sustained because the terms “unnecessary” and “undue” were not distinct. In 2001, the regulations were amended to eliminate the SIH standard on the basis that implementation would be difficult, expensive, and potentially subjective. The Mineral Policy Center and other non-profit organizations (plaintiffs) challenged the 2001 regulations in federal district court, claiming that the regulations were inconsistent with FLPMA because they ignored the “undue” language and only prevented mining disturbances that were greater than necessary. The BLM claimed that it would protect public lands from UUD on a case-by-case basis by (1) approving or rejecting mining plans of operations, (2) regulating exploration activities that did not require plans of operations, (3) requiring financial guarantees for mining-activity costs, and (4) linking performance standards to existing laws and regulations. Both parties moved for summary judgment.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Kennedy, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 222,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,100 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.