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Big decision looms for EPA on whether to appeal mountaintop permit case

Developers of a sprawling mountaintop-removal coal mining project revived by a federal judge Friday are now waiting for U.S. EPA to decide whether it will appeal the first-ever court rejection of a Clean Water Act veto. U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson for the District of Columbia tossed out EPA's 2011 veto of the permit for the West Virginia mining project issued by the Army Corps of Engineers in 2007. EPA, Jackson wrote, overstepped its authority by nixing a permit that had been in the coal company's hands for four years. Environmentalists want EPA to appeal to protect veto power given it by the 1972 Clean Water Act.

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