MOUNTAINTOP MINING CASE Appeals Panel To Hear West Virginia Spruce Mine Case Thursday
Reported by: Associated Press
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Mar. 14, 2013 9:07 AM EDT
Eyewitness News Photo
An appeals court was set to hear oral arguments on the Environmental Protection Agency's veto of water-pollution permits for one of West Virginia's largest mountaintop removal mines.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia scheduled 15 minutes for each side on Thursday morning.
In 2011, the EPA revoked a permit the Army Corps of Engineers had issued four years earlier to St. Louis-based Arch Coal for its 2,300-acre Spruce No. 1 mine.
EPA said destructive, unsustainable mining practices would cause irreparable environmental damage and threaten the health of residents nearby.
Industry, politicians and state regulators want the appeals court to uphold a federal judge's ruling that EPA overstepped its authority. They said EPA is preventing permits from ever being considered final.
Environmentalists want the ruling overturned.
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