Rep. McKinley Introduces Legislation Aimed at Taking Away EPA's Authority to Revoke Permits


By:  David McKinley
Date: Feb. 8, 2013
Location: Washington, DC

Rep. David B. McKinley, P.E. (R-W.Va.) introduced legislation aimed at taking away the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to revoke permits after they have been already issued by the Secretary of the Army.

"EPA took the unprecedented action of revoking a permit at the Spruce No. 1 Mine, which had been issued years prior, which sent a chilling effect throughout the American economy," said Rep. McKinley. "If EPA can retroactively pull a permit at a coal mine, what's to stop them from doing so at any construction site or manufacturing plant?," said Rep. McKinley.

"The ability to change the rules once a project is started creates a level of uncertainty that hurts not just the coal industry but all industries," added McKinley.

Last March, a federal court ruled EPA overreached its powers by revoking a permit at the Spruce No. 1 Mine in Logan County, W.Va. In her decision, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said EPA's action was "a stunning power for an agency to arrogate itself' and faulted EPA for using "magical thinking' to justify it. EPA appealed this decision last May.

"Congress must be vigilant and fight against illegal overreach by all executive agencies," said Rep. McKinley. "That's why this legislation is so important. If EPA is successful in this battle, it will not only cost jobs and investment in Logan County, W.Va., but all across the country."

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