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McKinley Criticizes Court Decision in Spruce Mine Case


Location: Washington, DC

Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia reversed last year's District Court ruling that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could not retroactively revoke an already-issued mountaintop mining permit in Logan County, W.Va.

"In 2011, EPA took the unprecedented action of revoking a permit at the Spruce No. 1 Mine, which had been issued years prior, an action 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?"

The opinion issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals reverses an original ruling made last March that said EPA could not revoke an already-issued mining permit. A federal court ruled EPA overreached its powers by revoking a permit at the Spruce No. 1 Mine in Logan County, W.Va. EPA appealed this decision last May.

"Today's ruling would grant EPA staggering authority to revoke clean water permits after they have already been issued, causing enormous uncertainty, not only in coal mining but all industry," added McKinley. "This decision reinforces the need for Congress to step in," noted McKinley.

"Earlier this year, I introduced a bipartisan solution that would clarify EPA does not have the power to revoke a permit once it's been issued." "Congress must be vigilant and fight against 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 cost jobs and investments, all across the country."

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