Attorney General files response to MT lawsuit
by Governor Freudenthal’s Office
April 1, 2007
(Cheyenne). - Wyoming Attorney General Pat Crank filed Wyoming’s response to Montana’s lawsuit regarding the Yellowstone River Compact today.
"Montana’s lawsuit should be dismissed," Crank said. "The matters raised by Montana should not be considered by the U.S. Supreme Court because the allegations are weak and unsupported by the briefing filed by Montana with the court. In addition, Montana’s claims regarding groundwater depletions are not even covered by the compact."
Montana filed the suit against Wyoming with the U.S. Supreme Court in January, claiming that Wyoming’s use of water from the Tongue and Powder River systems is excessive and violates the terms of the 1950 Yellowstone River Compact. Crank’s response asks the court to deny Montana’s request.
"Interstate water lawsuits between states frequently last for years and cost the involved states millions of dollars," Crank said. "We hope that the Court recognizes how weak Montana’s claims are and refuses to entertain this lawsuit. These disputes, which Montana raised only recently and during times of severe drought in 2004 and 2006, can be resolved in the Yellowstone River Compact Commission without wasting years of effort and millions of dollars litigating in the Supreme Court."
To view the complete response, visit the Attorney General’s web site, http://attorneygeneral.state.wy.us.