Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled the EPA had no authority to withdraw the Clean Water Act "dredge and fill" permit that had been issued by the Army Corps of Engineers. Environmental and social justice groups have been trying to stop the Spruce Mine since 1998, when it was first proposed. The "dredge and fill" permit was approved by the Corps in 2007 in a "scaled-back" version that would fill more than seven miles of streams, Ward reports.
EPA revoked the permits to Arch Coal Inc. for the mine in Logan County, saying they did not fully consider how mining would damage streams. The agency's appeal goes to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. (Read more)