Sierra Club et al v. Talen Montana LLC et al
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)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MONTANA
SIERRA CLUB and MONTANA
TALEN MONTANA LLC, AVISTA
CORPORATION, PUGET SOUND
ENERGY, PORTLAND GENERAL
FEB 1 5 2017
Clerk, U S District Court
District Of Montana
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
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
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.
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.
l i day of February, 2
Dana L. Christensen, Chief Judge
United States District Court
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