be "a reliable private attorney general to litigate the issues of the public interest in the present case." Association of Data Processing Service Organizations, Inc. v. Camp, 397 U.S. at 154.
The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act presents an even more compelling case for including plaintiffs within the ambit of this statute's coverage, since among its purposes is the protection of society, 30 U.S.C. § 1202(a), and assurance that appropriate procedures are provided for the public to participate in "the development, revision, and enforcement of regulations, standards, reclamation plans, or programs." 30 U.S.C. § 1202(i). In particular, the Secretary is prohibited from "enter[ring] into any lease of Federal coal deposits until the surface owner has given written consent to enter and commence surface mining operations and the Secretary has obtained evidence of such consent." 30 U.S.C. § 1304(c). Clearly, here Congress intended that such organizations, as plaintiff organizations, representing the interests of members who are qualified surface owners, be given a role in the surface mining control and reclamation process and the monitoring of the agency's effectuation of the purposes and provisions of SMCRA.
As to claims brought pursuant to the Federal Coal Leasing Amendments Act of 1976, industry intervenors argue that plaintiffs are not within the zone of interests that this statute was designed to protect, because plaintiffs' "anti-production interest is inconsistent with the pro-production purpose" of this statutory scheme. Memorandum of Industry Intervenors in Opposition to Plaintiffs' Standing at 9 (emphasis in original). A look at the case, Clarke, Comptroller of the Currency v. Securities Industry Association, relied upon by industry intervenors for this proposition, reveals, instead, an intent that this zone of interest test "is not meant to be especially demanding; in particular, there need be no indication of congressional purposes to benefit the would-be plaintiff." 479 U.S. 388, 399-400, 25 L. Ed. 2d 192, 90 S. Ct. 832 (1987). In that regard, the Court instructs that only those plaintiffs whose interests are "so marginally related to or inconsistent with the purposes implicit in the statute that it cannot reasonably be assumed that Congress intended to permit the suit" would be unable to invoke the court's jurisdiction. Id. at 399. As to this inquiry, it is of less importance that a would-be plaintiff's views are consistent with the statute at issue, than whether there is any indication, however attenuated, that Congress intended to benefit such a class of plaintiffs.
Legislative history does reveal that among the purposes of these statutory amendments was the assurance that coal leasing and development would be "compatible with public interest" and the provision of "environmental safeguards which are essential to the long-term interests of the nation and the regions involved." H.R. 681, 94th Cong., 2d Sess. 8, reprinted in 1976 U.S. Code Cong. & Admin. News, 1943. The portion of FCLAA dealing with the prohibition of leasing lands containing coal absent the preparation of a comprehensive land use plan, 30 U.S.C. § 201(3)(A)(ii), includes various opportunities for public comment with regard to "environmental disruption, community services, economic impacts and the like." H.R. 681 Cong., 2d Sess. 19, reprinted in 1976 U.S. Code Cong. & Admin. News at 1955. It is clear that Congress, at the very least, found so-called 'anti-production,' pro-environmental concerns to be among those interests to be balanced with those speaking to the need for "an orderly procedure for the leasing and development of coal presently owned by the United States." Id. at 8. Hence, this court has little trouble deciding that there is at least some indication that Congress intended to benefit instant plaintiffs.
Accordingly, all claims brought pursuant to FCLAA, SMCRA, and FLPMA do not violate the court's prudential limitations on its jurisdiction.
For the foregoing reasons, the court finds that plaintiff organizations have standing to bring Counts IV, V, VI, and VIII, having alleged infringement of their procedural and informational interests and Counts IX, X, and XI on behalf of their members.
William B. Bryant
United States District Judge
ORDER - June 6, 1990, Filed
Upon consideration of the defendants' motion for summary judgment on standing grounds and memorandum in opposition to plaintiffs' standing, plaintiffs' memorandum in support of their standing and their reply to defendants' opposition, the entire record herein, in accordance with the memorandum filed this date, it is hereby
ORDERED that the court's November 1, 1988 grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendants is VACATED, and further
ORDERED that defendants' motion to dismiss on standing grounds is DENIED.
William B. Bryant
United States District Judge