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Kentucky Sues EPA Over Coal Mining Permit Blocking

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a new lawsuit to worry about over its coal mining permits.

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has directed the state's Energy and Environment Cabinet to partner with the Kentucky Coal Association in suing the EPA.

The Kentucky Coal Association has filed a complaint on Monday in the US District Court in Pikeville against the decision of the EPA to block Eastern Kentucky mine permits for the purpose of protecting Kentucky waters.

The KCA said that the EPA blocking of state issue permits over water pollution standards is an improper deviation from the Clean Water Act of 1977.

The KCA president Bill Bissett said in an email to the state Legislative Research Commission that the blocking of state issued permits is part of an illegal agenda to end coal mining in Kentucky. He also wrote that the EPA continues to act without any consideration for the law. He also mentioned that the EPA's actions were based on political ideology alone with no connection to actual protection of the environment.

The EPA responded that the actions were based on the best science available to protect Kentucky waters. In a statement released from its Washington office the EPA said that despite many efforts made by the EPA, state officials have not engaged in a meaningful discussion of sustainable mining practices.

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