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Patriot Mining Co. v. Sierra Club

ELR Citation: 43 ELR 20044
Nos. 11-AA-102, -104,, (W. Va. Cir. Ct., 02/13/2013)

A West Virginia court reversed a decision by the state environmental quality board in which it remanded a NPDES permit for a mining company to the state environmental agency for further review and analysis. The board's decision not to defer to the state agency's interpretation of water quality standards was arbitrary and capricious. In addition, the board exceeded its authority by attempting to impose de facto water quality standards on the agency. And rather than instructing the state agency to follow its own guidance on narrative standards, it unlawfully instructed the agency to use EPA guidance that has been struck down by a federal court.