Gateway Village, LLC v. Mont. Dep’t of Envtl. QualityAnnotate this Case
The Gallatin Gateway County Water & Sewer District sought a permit for a proposed wastewater treatment system. The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) granted a wastewater discharge permit. Gateway Village, LLC, which owns land adjacent to and down-gradient from the proposed activities, requested judicial review of DEQ’s issuance of the permit and alleged that the discharge of wastewater into groundwater extending under its surface property would constitute a common law trespass. The district court determined that further environmental analysis was necessary and remanded the case to DEQ. The court also denied DEQ’s and the District’s motions for summary judgment or dismissal of Gateway Village’s trespass claim and denied Gateway Village’s request for attorneys’ fees. The Supreme Court (1) vacated the portion of the district court’s order addressing the trespass claim, holding that, having remanded the case, the district court should have declined to address the trespass claim; and (2) affirmed the district court’s decision to deny Gateway Village’s request for attorney’s fees.