Federal Judge Weighs In on Spruce Mine
At the request of the federal government, a federal judge yesterday put a temporary halt to the legal clash over Appalachia’s largest mountaintop coal mine, the 2,300 acre Spruce No. 1 project in Southern West Virginia.
That project is slated to bury more than seven miles of mountain streams, leading to a protracted legal battle with environmentalists. But last Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency took a giant stride toward halting the operation, when it sent notice to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers threatening to revoke the mine’s previously granted Clean Water Act permit unless the Corps takes further action to limit the impact on local water quality.
The Charleston Gazette’s Ken Ward Jr. has the latest details:
The judge said the stay, until Nov. 3, will give EPA and the Corps time to discuss the permit further and consider the next step. Arch Coal’s Mingo Logan Coal Co. subsidiary had wanted [U.S. District Judge Robert C.] Chambers to deny the government’s request for a stay and throw out a lawsuit filed against the Spruce Mine by environmental groups.