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US court declines to hear mining permit case

World Coal,

The US Supreme Court has declined to hear a challenge from Arch Coal to a decision to block an environmental permit for a coal mining project in West Virginia.

Permit veto

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said it would veto a permit issued for the Spruce No. 1 mining project in 2011, four years after the US Army Corps of Engineers had given its approval. The permit, issued under the Clean Water Act, would allow Arch subsidiary, Mingo Logan, to discharge waste material into nearby waterways.

The case will now return to the US District Court in Washington, where Arch will argue that the administration failed to follow correct legal procedures when it decided to veto the project.

Supreme Court review

Arch Coal sought the Supreme Court’s review after the federal appeals court in Washington ruled in favor of the EPA in April 2013. This is the first time the EPA has ever blocked a project after a permit was approved.

The EPA veto prompted a considerable backlash from groups including the US Chamber of Commerce and the National Mining Association. Together with 27 states, including West Virginia, they asked the Supreme Court to hear the case.

Edited from various sources by Katie Woodward

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