In December 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a decision affirming in part the board's decisions in two of the three Tongue River cases, while making it clear that TRRC may not build any part of the Tongue River Railroad without further environmental review. TRRC also revised plans for the location of the line and a change in ownership of the railroad and stated that the purpose and need for the proposed line have changed. The board is requiring TRRC to file a revised application that presents TRRC's new proposal to build a rail line between Miles City and Ashland, Mt. The agency will conduct a new environmental review of that plan consistent with the Ninth Circuit's decision regarding these cases.
In addition, the board is dismissing the Tongue River proceedings concerning related lines that TRRC no longer intends to construct.