Industry News - Permit Problems


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 23rd that NSSGA views as potentially harmful to businesses, like aggregates, that rely on permits to operate.

An initial analysis of the ruling finds that it effectively allows the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to revoke existing permits. NSSGA joined in filing an industry amicus brief after EPA appealed the 2012 court decision that EPA had exceeded its Clean Water Act (CWA) authority because the CWA does not allow EPA to revoke an existing permit.

The three-judge appeals court panel determined that the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia erred in its March 23, 2012, ruling vacating EPA's withdrawal of disposal specifications for Mingo Logan's Spruce Mine activities in West Virginia. In her ruling, Judge Amy Berman Jackson specifically cited NSSGA's amicus as helpful in determining the detrimental effects of allowing EPA post permit veto authority.

NSSGA President and CEO R. A. Edwards, III, says, "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."