March 02, 2010

By Jennifer Cassel

On March 18, 2010, the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana approved a settlement between the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) and the Montana Environmental Information Center under which BLM has agreed to review its duties under National Environmental Policy Act ("NEPA"), the Federal Law Policy and Management Act (“FLPMA”), the Mineral Leasing Act (“MLA”), and a Department of Interior order, to evaluate the climate impact of leasing lands for oil and gas development.  BLM has also agreed to temporarily suspend 61 oil and gas leases it has issued, representing over 30,000 acres of land, while conducting that review.  Plaintiffs filed the settled lawsuit in January 2009, at which time they alleged that BLM had violated NEPA, FLPMA, MLA and the Department of Interior order in issuing those 61 leases. 

The settlement agreement is available at