Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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WV State News

September 20, 2012

Groups to court: Uphold EPA rebuke over W.Va. mine

MORGANTOWN — Ten business groups say an appellate court should uphold a federal judge’s ruling that the Environmental Protection Agency overreached in revoking water-pollution permits for a West Virginia mountaintop removal mine.

The state Department of Environmental Protection also filed a friend-of-the-court brief Wednesday in the battle between EPA and St. Louis-based Arch Coal over the Spruce No. 1 mine.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and others argue EPA’s retroactive veto of Clean Water Act permits issued by the Army Corps of Engineers creates regulatory uncertainty and could have a chilling effect on economic development nationwide.

The United Co. of Bristol, Va., also says the veto amounts to an illegal and unconstitutional taking of land.

The DEP says EPA is usurping the state’s authority and destroying a delicate balance of state-federal cooperation.


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