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Judge says BLM failed to consult tribe on drilling

The Bureau of Land Management failed to consult the Northern Cheyenne Tribe before allowing coalbed methane drilling, a federal judge ruled on Monday.

U.S. Magistrate Richard Anderson said the BLM didn't consult with the tribe under the National Historic Preservation Act. He said the law requires the BLM to determine whether cultural resources will be harmed by drilling.

Anderson also ruled that the BLM allowed drilling based on a flawed environmental study. The study was previously voided by the court in February.

In another case, the tribe and environmental groups are challenging new coalbed methane drilling in the Power River Basin in Montana. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has issued an injunction barring new development pending resolution of the case.

Get the Story:
Federal judge rules to halt CBM project (The Billings Gazette 6/8)

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