U.S. Court of Appeals ruling allows EPA to revoke existing permits

| Published on April 24, 2013

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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Court issued a ruling in Mingo Logan Coal Company v. EPA on April 23 that allows the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to revoke existing permits.

The National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA) stated that it views the ruling as “potentially harmful to businesses, like aggregates, that rely on permits to operate.”

The three-judge appeals court panel overturned a March 23, 2012, ruling by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in which the court vacated EPA’s withdrawal of disposal specifications for Mingo Logan’s Spruce Mine activities in West Virginia.

Following the EPA’s appeal of the 2012 court decision, NSSGA, along with other industry professionals, filed an industry amicus brief, which Judge Amy Berman Jackson cited in her ruling as helpful in determining the negative effects of allowing EPA to withdraw existing permits.

NSSGA President and CEO R. A. Edwards, III, reiterated NSSGA’s sentiments about the ruling, stating that it violates the Clean Water Act.

“NSSGA is disappointed that the D.C. Circuit Court reversed the lower court. We still believe EPA’s veto of an existing, previously approved permit is not authorized under the Clean Water Act. We will continue to analyze the Circuit Court’s decision and consider appropriate next steps,” Edwards said.

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