published Friday, September 28th, 2012

EPA to appeal ruling on mining water-quality rules

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Environmental Protection Agency says it will appeal a federal judge’s July ruling that it overreached by setting up water-quality criteria for mountaintop removal mining operations in several Appalachia states.

EPA filed notice of intent Thursday to appeal the ruling by Judge Reggie Walton in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Last year, the EPA revised 2010 standards by tightening guidelines on the practice of dumping waste from surface mine blasting into valley waterway. The National Mining Association sued, and West Virginia and Kentucky joined the lawsuit.

Walton found the EPA infringed on state regulators’ authority to permit mines using federal clean-water and surface-mining laws.

His ruling was one of several setbacks to the EPA in its attempt to crack down on mountaintop removal coal mining.

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