Court Rejects EPA’s Arrogation of Power; Restores Permitting Certitude

The following statement was released today by National Mining Association President and CEO Hal Quinn upon action by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia regarding the Spruce No.1 Mine permit:



“The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia today struck another blow for restoring the rule of law and regulatory certainty by rejecting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) view that it has unbounded authority to retroactively revoke permits issued by another federal agency. The current permitting process is already a protracted and complicated affair. If we are to encourage investments, grow our economy and create jobs, companies need the certitude their success in obtaining permits will not be later robbed by the whims of EPA,” said Quinn.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson characterized EPA actions in the matter of Mingo Logan Coal Co. v. EPA, “This is a stunning power for an agency to arrogate to itself when there is absolutely no mention of it in the statute.” Judge Jackson ordered EPA’s action vacated in its entirety, call EPA’s assertions about the extent of its own authority “unreasonable.”

“Today’s ruling comes on the heels of this week’s decision by the United States Supreme Court in Sackett v. EPA, which found EPA’s compliance orders under the Clean Water Act are immediately subject to judicial review—an important reminder of the due process rights afforded by our Constitution,” Quinn concluded.