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Court Rules FMC must comply with tribal laws

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Posted: Friday, May 11, 2012 4:50 pm | Updated: 2:20 am, Sun May 13, 2012.

FORT HALL — A unanimous Court of Appeals Panel comprised of Honorable Cathy Silak, former Idaho Supreme Court Justice and now Dean of the Concordia Law School in Boise, Honorable Mary Pearson, and Honorable Fred Gabourie affirmed a lower court ruling the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes have jurisdiction over FMC and further held FMC must comply with Tribal environmental laws.


In the decision the Court upheld a 1998 agreement between FMC and the Tribes wherein FMC promised to pay the Tribes $1,500,000 per year to store millions of tons of hazardous waste within the reservation. FMC unsuccessfully tried to renege on that agreement after the FMC plant closed in 2002. Chairman Nathan Small of the Fort Hall Business Council, stated: “The Tribes are pleased the Court Ordered FMC to honor its commitment to the Tribes. Business conducting activities within the reservation need to understand they are subject to our laws.”

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