Sierra Club et al v. Talen Montana LLC et al, No. 1:2013cv00032 - Document 359 (D. Mont. 2017)

Court Description: ORDER ADOPTING FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS IN FULL; IT FURTHER ORDERED THAT THIS CASE IS DISMISSED. Plaintiffs are awarded 1,565,150.93. Judgment will be entered by separate entry. Signed by Judge Dana L. Christensen on 2/15/2017. (AMC)
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Sierra Club et al v. Talen Montana LLC et al Doc. 359 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF MONTANA BILLINGS DIVISION SIERRA CLUB and MONTANA ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION CENTER, CV 13-32-BLG-DLC-JCL ORDER Plaintiffs, vs. FILED TALEN MONTANA LLC, AVISTA CORPORATION, PUGET SOUND ENERGY, PORTLAND GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY, NORTHWESTERN CORPORATION, and PACIFICORP, FEB 1 5 2017 Clerk, U S District Court District Of Montana Missoula Defendants. United States Magistrate Judge Jeremiah C. Lynch entered findings and recommendations in this case on January 30, 2017, recommending that Plaintiffs' motion for attorney fees and costs be granted in the amount of $1,565,150.93, and Defendants' cross motion for attorney fees and costs be denied. Defendants did not object to the findings and recommendations, and so have waived the right to de novo review thereof. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b )(1 )(C). This Court reviews for clear error those findings and recommendations to which no party objects. See -1- McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Commodore Bus. Mach., Inc., 656 F.2d 1309, 1313 (9th Cir. 1981); Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 149 (1985). Clear error exists ifthe Court is left with a "definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been committed." United States v. Syrax, 235 F.3d 422, 427 (9th Cir. 2000) (citations omitted). Having reviewed the findings and recommendations, the Court finds no clear error in Judge Lynch's conclusion that Plaintiffs' motion for attorneys' fees and costs be granted in the amount of $1,565,150.93, and Defendants' cross motion be denied. This Court agrees that the Consent Decree requires the Defendants to do something they were otherwise not legally obligated to do, which enables the Plaintiffs to establish prevailing party status under § 304(d) of the Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. § 7604(d). Further, Plaintiffs achieved some success on the merits by requiring Defendants to retire two units on the Colstrip plant by mid-2022. The Court further agrees with Judge Lynch's analysis that the $3 .1 million in attorneys' fees requested by Plaintiffs should be reduced by 50% to account for Plaintiffs' limited success. Finally, the Court agrees that Defendants' cross motion for attorneys' fees is without merit because none of Plaintiffs' claims were frivolous or unfounded. -2- Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that Judge Lynch's Findings and Recommendations (Doc. 355) are ADOPTED IN FULL. The Plaintiffs are awarded $1,565,150.93 in attorneys' fees and costs. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this case be DISMISSED. The Clerk of Court shall CLOSE this matter and enter judgment pursuant to Rule 5 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. DATED this itt l i day of February, 2 17. Dana L. Christensen, Chief Judge United States District Court -3-
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