Kentucky Coal Association President Bill Bissett is applauding a federal court ruling that found the EPA overstepped its authority in establishing water quality criteria for consideration of mining permits. He calls the decision Tuesday by U. S. District Judge Reggie Walton “a victory for all of Kentucky and West Virginia.”
“Where disregulation was unfairly and illegally put forth by the EPA, it only involved coal mining, it only involved West Virginia and eastern Kentucky,” said Bissett. “And I think the great news is a court in D. C., sort of the home court of the EPA said, ‘Yes, this is illegal, this is unfair,’ and you can’t single out two states and one industry.”
Kentuckians for the Commonwealth spokesman Rick Hanshoe disputes Bissett’s interpretation of the federal court’s ruling. Hanshoe hopes a future congress will now pass legislation permitting the EPA to use water quality measures in its consideration of mining permits.
Bissett hopes permits, which already have state approval, will now be released so mining operations can begin.