Coal Tattoo

Word just coming in early this afternoon that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers yesterday suspended its controversial approval of A&G Coal Corp.’s Ison Rock Ridge Surface Mine in Wise County, Va. This comes just a week after the Sierra Club and the group Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards filed suit to block the permit.

I’ve posted a copy of the Corps letter to A&G Coal Company here.

Coal Tattoo readers may recall that EPA already asked the Corps of Engineers to revoke this permit, which was issued under the Clean Water Act’s Nationwide Permit 21 — which in West Virginia was thrown out  by U.S. District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin — and instead process the permit application under the Clean Water Act’s Individual Permit, or IP, process.

The Corps permit suspension letter cites the company’s failure to obtain a SMCRA permit and the “significant lapse of time since the” NWP 21 authorization was issued. Further, the Corps said the permit suspension gives Corps officials “an opportunity to fully evaluate concerns” raised by EPA.