"CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A federal judge has overturned the Obama administration's veto of the largest mountaintop-removal mining permit in West Virginia history, saying the agency greatly oversteps its authority in blocking the controversial project."
"U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled that the federal Environmental Protection Agency is not authorized to withdraw a Clean Water Act permit that already was issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
'This is a stunning power for an agency to arrogate to itself when there is absolutely no mention of it in the statute,' Jackson wrote in a 34-page opinion that's been highly anticipated by all sides in the mountaintop-removal debate.
Jackson called the language at issue in the law unclear and confusing, but said the EPA's reading was not a reasonable interpretation."
Ken Ward Jr. reports for the Charleston Gazette March 23, 2012.