SPRUCE MINE CASE Appeal Panel Hears WV Spruce Mine Case
Reported by: Associated Press
Web Producer: Heath Harrison
Reported: Mar. 14, 2013 3:15 PM EDT
Updated: Mar. 15, 2013 1:43 AM EDT
Eyewitness News Photo
, Kanawha County
, West Virginia
An appeals court is weighing whether the Environmental Protection Agency overstepped its authority in its veto of permits for one of West Virginia's largest mountaintop removal mines.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia heard oral arguments in the case Thursday.
In 2011, the EPA revoked a water-pollution 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.
The 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 the EPA overstepped its authority. They said the EPA is preventing permits from ever being considered final.
Environmentalists want the ruling overturned.
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