Coal Tattoo

Appeals court sides with EPA over Spruce Mine veto

This just in: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has reversed a lower court ruling that overturned EPA’s veto of the Spruce Mine mountaintop removal permit in Logan County, W.Va.

I’ve posted a copy of the ruling here, and we’ve posted a news story on the Gazette’s website here.

Readers may recall that EPA vetoed the Clean Water Act permit, prompting an appeal by Arch Coal, which led to a ruling by U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson that overruled the agency’s action. EPA appealed, and today’s decision by Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson concludes:

… The Congress made plain its intent to grant the Administrator authority to prohibit/deny/restrict/withdraw a specification at any time … Thus, the unambiguous language of subsection 404(c) manifests the Congress’s intent to confer on EPA a broad veto power extending beyond the permit issuance.