Articles Posted in South Dakota Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Brule County Board of Commissioners finding that Surat Farms LLC impermissibly altered an intermittent watercourse. Upon Albert Delany’s filing of a drainage complaint with Brule County, the Board found that Surat “altered the natural flow of the water” running from Delany’s land to Surat’s land and required Surat to restore the natural flow of water or otherwise ensure the drainage of the Delany property. The circuit court affirmed the Board’s decision in all respects. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the evidence supported the circuit court’s finding that Surat’s drain system improperly interfered with Delany’s drainage rights; and (2) the circuit court did not err in awarding injunctive relief. View "Surat Farms, LLC v. Brule County Board of Commissioners" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the circuit court’s affirmance of the Board of Minerals and Environment’s determination that it had subject matter jurisdiction over a petition regarding mine permit Nos. 445 and 460. Robert Fowler and Harlan Schmidt, intervenors in LAC Mineral USA, LLC’s petition, brought this appeal. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding (1) mining application requirements and mining permit amendment application requirements are not requirements that need to be met for the Board to obtain subject matter jurisdiction over a mining permit or permit amendment application, and therefore, the circuit court correctly found that the Board had jurisdiction over the matter; (2) the intervenors waived the issue whether S.D. Codified Laws 45-6B-44 and S.D. Codified Laws 45-6B-45 denied Fowler due process; but (3) the circuit court and Board erred in determining that Fowler was not a landowner, as that issue was not properly before the circuit court or Board. View "In re LAC Minerals (USA), LLC’s Petitioner for Release of Reclamation Liability" on Justia Law

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Hyperion Refining, LLC applied for an air quality permit to begin construction of a proposed petroleum refinery and power plant. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) issued the permit, and the Board of Minerals and Environment (Board) approved DENR's issuance of the permit. Three citizens appealed the issuance of the permit to the circuit court. Hyperion also appealed a permit condition that limited the amount of carbon monoxide that could be emitted from the proposed facility. The circuit court affirmed the Board's decision in all respects. The citizens and Hyperion appealed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the Board did not abuse its discretion in issuing the air quality permit; and (2) the Board did not clearly err in determining the carbon monoxide limit. View "In re Application of Hyperion Refining, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) approved plans and specifications for the Brant Lake Sanitary District's wastewater treatment facility in 2012. The Brant Lake facility plans proposed to join and expand the Chester Sanitary District's existing wastewater disposal system. The plans included the construction of an additional treatment lagoon to tie into Chester's existing two-cell lagoon system. The plans also included the construction of additional piping to transport wastewater to the treatment lagoons. Plaintiffs' home and business were near the proposed lagoon. Plaintiffs filed an application for a writ of mandamus requiring DENR to comply with applicable state statutes, administrative rules, and DENR internal guidelines in approving the plans and specifications for the Brant Lake facility. The trial court denied the writ. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Plaintiffs did not meet their burden to show that DENR disregarded a clear duty to act under the applicable statutes, administrative rules, or manuals, and accordingly, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying Plaintiffs' application for writ of mandamus. View "Krsnak v. Dep't of Env't & Natural Res." on Justia Law