Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Beshear Calls EPA Ruling A Victory For Miners

{Washington, D.C.}...In response to a lawsuit filed by the National Mining Association against the EPA and Administrator Lisa Jackson, U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton in Washington, D.C. ruled Tuesday that the Environmental Protection Agency overstepped its powers by setting up water-quality criteria for coal mining operations in Appalachia. Last year, the EPA tightened guidelines on the practice of dumping waste into Appalachian valley waterways from surface mine blasting. Walton said the EPA infringed on the authority given to state regulators by federal clean water and surface mining acts. Governor Steve Beshear voiced his support of Walton's decision, saying the action is a victory for coal miners who have seen mines close and their jobs put in jeopardy. Beshear said the regulations had essentially halted three dozen pending coal permits in Kentucky.