(08/03/2012)
The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has sided with West Virginia officials in its ongoing litigation against the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

A federal judge Tuesday threw out new federal rules aimed at reducing water pollution from Appalachian coal mining operations.

The state's elected officials in Charleston and Washington have been engaged in opposing what they say is the Obama administrations "War on Coal."

The state's coal operators and elected officials could be winning the "war" against stricter guidelines that protect the water in state streams and rivers.

The federal court ruled that the EPA had exceeded its authority in interfering with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection's process of authorizing mining permits.

The WV-EPA, while moving forward with pollution rules, has long engaged in a cat-and-mouse enforcement game with coal operators, critics saying they have a serious case of head-turning.

WV's coal operations are often fined millions of dollars for pollution violations, but little is collected following long court battles.

"This is a huge victory for West Virginia and our coal miners," said Gov. Tomblin. "As the court correctly recognized, the West Virginia DEP knows what's best for West Virginia, not the federal government," said the governor.

"The EPA continues to treat our coal miners unfairly, and I won't stand for it. Today's decision shows we are moving in the right direction, and West Virginians should know that I'm in this fight until the end. I won't allow these federal bureaucrats to kill the very industry that built our great state," Tomblin concluded.


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