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US Appeals panel stands by EPA in coal ruling

CHARLESTON (AP) — A federal appeals court is declining to stand in the way of the Obama administration’s efforts to block water pollution from mountaintop removal coal mining.

A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued the ruling Friday, according to The Charleston Gazette.

It concluded that the Environmental Protection Agency was within its authority to consult with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers about Clean Water Act permits for mining operations.

The panel rejected a 2012 District Court ruling that that the EPA had overstepped its authority under federal water pollution and strip mining laws when the agency tried to reduce water pollution from Appalachian coal mining operations.

West Virginia and Kentucky are among those that challenged the EPA’s actions.

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