US appeals court in Va. OKs WV mine permit - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

US appeals court in Va. OKs WV mine permit

Posted: Updated:
  • EnergyEnergyMore>>

  • Ohio steel company acquires assets in Severstal, part owner of Mountain State Carbon

    Ohio steel company acquires assets in Severstal, part owner of Mountain State Carbon

    Monday, July 21 2014 11:54 AM EDT2014-07-21 15:54:19 GMT
    Ohio-based AK Steel has signed a $700 million cash agreement to acquire Severstal North America’s integrated steelmaking assets in Dearborn, Michigan, as well as a cokemaking facility and interests in three joint ventures that process flat-rolled steel products, the company announced July 21.
    Ohio-based AK Steel has signed a $700 million cash agreement to acquire Severstal North America’s integrated steelmaking assets in Dearborn, Michigan, as well as a cokemaking facility and interests in three joint ventures that process flat-rolled steel products, the company announced July 21.
  • Bethany College gets in the gas business

    Bethany College gets in the gas business

    Sunday, July 20 2014 8:00 AM EDT2014-07-20 12:00:20 GMT
    In the Village of Bethany, you will find Bethany College, a post office and Chambers General Store. And on a hot summer morning, you’ll be lucky to see a car on Main Street.
    In the Village of Bethany, you will find Bethany College, a post office and Chambers General Store. And on a hot summer morning, you’ll be lucky to see a car on Main Street.
  • Pa. community college plans process technology curriculum

    Pa. community college plans process technology curriculum

    Saturday, July 19 2014 6:00 PM EDT2014-07-19 22:00:22 GMT
    It started with a week-long trip to Texas and a $200,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.
    It started with a week-long trip to Texas and a $200,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A federal appeals court on Wednesday refused to block a federal permit for a West Virginia mountaintop removal coal mine that was challenged by environmentalists.

A panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a federal judge was right to rule that the Army Corps of Engineers did its due diligence when it granted the permit under the Clean Water Act. The permit was for Virginia-based Alpha Natural Resources' Highland Reylas surface mine in Logan County.

The Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, Sierra Club and Coal River Mountain Watch challenged the permit, saying it would cause irreparable harm to 2 ½ miles of streams.

The corps argued it anticipated no such effects when it issued a water pollution permit. The court agreed that the agency thoroughly evaluated all evidence before making its decision.

The groups alleged the corps failed to take a "hard look" at the environmental impact of the project. The court sided with the agency, though, citing its work over four years to evaluate the proposed mine and to work with both sides to mitigate any damage.

"With the inability to demonstrate that the Corps failed to take a 'hard look,' the Environmental Coalition's arguments are reduced to no more than a substantive disagreement with the Corps," the panel wrote.

Mountaintop removal is a particularly efficient but destructive form of strip mining that blasts apart mountain ridge tops to expose multiple seams of coal. The practice of flat-topping the mountains, then filling valleys and covering streams with rubble has divided communities and led to confrontations between coal miners and environmentalists.

 

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.