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November/December 2021


IN THIS ISSUE


Affiliate Focus - BKD
Quarterly Virtual Meetings
2022 Summer Conference
CERCLA Update
Employment Opportunities

 

We are happy to recognize another of our valued Affiliate members this month.  BKD CPAs & Advisors is a national firm that can help you reach your goals. Founded in 1923 with just $1,700 in the bank, it has grown to become one of the largest CPA firms in the country with 40 offices across 18 states, including NASTL member states Arkansas, Colorado, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.
 
BKD’s expertise goes well beyond the standard accounting services to include risk management, technology, wealth management, and forensic and valuations services. BKD also delivers tailored solutions that help energy and natural resources companies succeed in a volatile market through our National Energy & Natural Resources (ENR) Practice. Our ENR clients include companies specializing in the oil and gas industry, as well as power utility and alternative energy industries. In addition, under Deanna’s leadership, the ENR practice will conduct royalty audits for state lands to establish the operator’s compliance with the royalty requirements of leases by the oil and gas industry.
 
BKD can also help public sector agencies navigate the increasing demand for their services with increasing cuts in state and federal government funding. Their Public Sector Advisory Services team brings together public sector experience, top-tier data analytics tools, and process knowledge to help you address the risks of trying to do more with less.
 
We are very fortunate to have BKD as an active Affiliate member since 2020.
 
Deanna Duell has attended several of our conferences and many of you have met her.  Deanna was at the conference in Portland but unfortunately, shipping delays precluded the inclusion of her registration materials in the packets.  We are including them here for your review. 
 

If you have any questions about BKD and the services they can provide, please reach out to her at dduell@bkd.com, 720-279-5658 (direct) or 303-204-0387.
Quarterly Virtual Meetings 
In recent years, it has been practice for NASTL to host a virtual quarterly meeting in January, however, since going to a monthly "news" distribution, without agenda topics that require action, we find ourselves reiterating news that has already been shared with the membership.  We are looking for input on what members would like to accomplish with these meetings. 
  
One possible idea would be to discuss, in depth, issues that have arisen in managing our trust lands.  An example would be to more fully delve in the possible ramifications of the Chevron CERLA case included in this newsletter.  Other mini presentations by NASTL members on subjects of interest would be welcomed.
 
Peer networking is important and virtual meetings are something we'd like to continue to keep the membership connected between conferences, but we also understand the need to structure them in a way that makes them worthy of your time commitment.
 
A poll will be sent in early 2022 to get feedback on what would be meaningful to you.
2022 Summer Conference 
Save the Dates!

July 10-13, 2022

Start planning now to join us as Utah's School & Institutional Trust Lands Administration hosts us amidst the stunning geography of the Wasatch mountain range.

Leverage the value of professional networking, and take some time to visit historic sites pivotal to the Western expansion of the United States and discover the many reasons Utah has become one of the fastest-growing states in the country.
CERCLA Update
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act

On July 19th, 2021 the Tenth Circuit determined that the U.S. government is liable for environmental contamination at a mining site operated by Chevron and other mining entities under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 9601 et seq. Chevron Mining Inc. v. United States, No. 15-2209, 2017 WL 3045887, at *1 (10th Cir. July 19, 2017). Anticipated cleanup costs exceed $1 billion. Under the 1872 General Mining Act, 30 U.S.C. § 22, the U.S. government holds legal title and mining patents or claims are filed to specific portions of federal property.

The 10th Circuit reversed the District Court of New Mexico’s holding that the U.S. government was not an “owner” under CERCLA, a decision based largely upon United States v. Friedland, 152 F. Supp. 2d 1234 (D. Colo. 2001) which held that the United States, as “bare legal title holder to unpatented mining claims,” did not qualify as an “owner” for purposes of CERCLA liability.  See lower decision at Chevron Mining, Inc. v. United States, 139 F. Supp. 3d 1261, 1276 (D.N.M. 2015).  The Tenth Circuit held that ‘owner’ under CERCLA includes the United States regardless of the General Mining Act’s patent and claim mechanisms.  The court noted that under the General Mining Act, the United States encouraged and promoted mining activities.  The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, however, found that the United States is not an “arranger” under 42 U.S.C. § 9607(a)(3) because it did not own or possess the hazardous substances disposed of, affirming the District Court of New Mexico’s conclusion.

The New Mexico Questa molybdenum mine referenced in
Chevron Mining, Inc. v. United States.
Member State Employment Opportunities

Please take a minute to visit the NASTL member  "employment" page to view current opportunities.  
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