The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia handed down a partial victory to Kentucky and West Virginia, along with their coal industries earlier this month. The National Mining Association (NMA) filed suit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2010 asking the court grant relief under the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). This was primarily due to EPA’s substitution of “policy memoranda” for proper regulations promulgated under the authority of the Clean Water Act (CWA) in accordance with the APA. Additional cases were filed in the federal district courts of southern West Virginia and eastern Kentucky.
The cases, by agreement between the parties were consolidated in U.S. District Court in the District of Columba. The agreement addresses only part of the issues in the various suits including the Multi-Criteria Resource Assessment (MCIR) and the Enhanced Review Coordination Process (EC Process). The guidance documents issued by EPA, however, were not addressed.
Litigation was in process regarding the interim guidance document when EPA issued the Final Guidance Document in July. Due to the legal necessity to address the final guidance that portion of the case remains before the court. Click here to read the full court opinion.