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Judge Dismisses Missouri Coalition for the Environment Challenge of Clean Water Commission Statute

On November 1, 2018, the Circuit Court of Cole County entered a judgment dismissing the Missouri Coalition for the Environment’s challenge of a state law describing how members of the Missouri Clean Water Commission are chosen and who they represent. The Missouri Coalition for the Environment filed a lawsuit against the State of Missouri alleging that House Bill 1713 (2016) is unconstitutional. HB 1713 revised Missouri statute § 644.021 to allow the Governor to appoint to the Clean Water Commission more than two members to be knowledgeable concerning the needs of agriculture, industry, or mining. The Coalition for the Environment alleged that the Missouri General Assembly utilized unconstitutional procedures to enact the legislation.

The State of Missouri filed a motion to dismiss arguing that the Coalition for the Environment lacks standing to bring this lawsuit. The Circuit Court of Cole County agreed dismissing the case on November 1, 2018. The Court found that the Coalition for the Environment did not show that they were aggrieved by the enactment of HB 1713 or from the implementation of § 644.021, RSMo 2016. Therefore, the Coalition failed to establish it has standing. The court also found that the General Assembly did not violate any Constitutional procedures when it enacted the bill. Based on these rulings, the court dismissed the case.

This decision may be appealed to the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District. A notice of appeal has not yet been filed.

If you have questions relating to environmental law compliance or concerns, please call Newman, Comley & Ruth PC.

Keywords: Environmental law, Missouri Clean Water Commission, HB 1713

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