Friday, February 09, 2018

Hopi's Religious Concerns Give Them Standing To Challenge Snowbowl Water Use

In Hopi Tribe v. Arizona Snowbowl Resort Limited Partnership, (AZ App., Feb. 8, 2018), an Arizona state appeals court has given the Hopi tribe another chance to continue their long-running opposition to the use of recycled waste water to make artificial snow at Arizona's Snowbowl ski resort. (See prior posting).  Reversing the trial court's standing ruling, the appellate court said in part:
At issue is whether the Tribe sufficiently alleged standing to maintain a common law public nuisance claim. For a private party to bring a claim of public nuisance, it must allege both an interference with a right common to the public and a special injury different in kind from that of the public. The parties do not dispute that the Tribe sufficiently alleged that the use of reclaimed wastewater interferes with the public’s right to use and enjoy the Peaks. Because we find the Tribe sufficiently alleged the use of reclaimed wastewater causes its members a special injury, different in kind than that suffered by the general public, by interfering with places of special cultural and religious significance to the Tribe, we reverse the trial court’s dismissal....