Rep. David B. McKinley, P.E. (R-W.Va.) praised a U.S. District Court decision Friday upholding the validity of an Army Corps of Engineers dredge-and-fill permit for Alpha Natural Resources Inc.'s Reylas Surface Mine.
"I applaud Judge Chambers for following the rule of the law and not bowing to an activist interpretation," said Rep. McKinley. "This decision is a step towards reducing the uncertainty in the coal industry, which is sorely needed right now." "This decision is a victory for West Virginia coal workers," said Rep. McKinley.
"For years, the EPA has been bullying coal companies and the workers they employ by revoking permits or making the permitting process almost impossible. Businesses will not invest in new projects and create new jobs if they know that regulatory agencies can ignore existing permits and arbitrarily pull the rug right out from under them."
This is the fourth recent court decision overturning overreaching actions by the EPA. Earlier this month, a U.S. District Judge ruled the EPA had overstepped its powers in issuing criteria for water quality at coal mines. In March, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of an Idaho couple, allowing them to challenge fines issued by the EPA for alleged Clean Water Act violations. Last March, a Washington, D.C. circuit court judge ruled the EPA exceeded its authority in retroactively revoking permits for the Spruce No. 1 Mine in Logan County, W.Va.