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United States v. E&C Coal Co.

ELR Citation: 18 ELR 21079
Nos. Nos. 86-1731, -1732, 846 F.2d 247/27 ERC 2031/(4th Cir., 05/05/1988)

The court holds that a coal company is not entitled to the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act's reclamation fee exemption for operations affecting two acres or less. The court holds that the area above underground mines has been included in the definition of "affected area" since the original 1979 regulation, which has never been fundamentally changed. The court holds that a two-acre exemption granted to the coal company by Virginia has no effect, since Virginia's program was approved only on the condition that it define "affected area" to include the land above underground mines.

Counsel for Plaintiff-Appellant
Walton D. Morris Jr.
Office of Surface Mining
Department of the Interior, 18th & C Sts. NW, Washington DC 20240
(202) 343-4671

Counsel for Defendant-Appellee
G. Michael Williams
U.S. Cthse. & P.O. Bldg., P.O. Box 339, Abingdon VA 24210
(703) 628-8147

Before RUSSELL and WILKINS, Circuit Judges, and BUTZNER, Senior Circuit Judge.