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Murray Energy Corp. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency

ELR Citation: 45 ELR 20158
Nos. 1:15CV110, (N.D. W. Va., 08/26/2015) (Keeley)

A district court held that it lacked jurisdiction over a coal company's lawsuit challenging EPA's and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' controversial "waters of the United States" rule. The agencies filed a motion to stay the case based, in part, on their position that exclusive jurisdiction to hear challenges to the rule lies in the circuit courts of appeals under CWA §509(b)(1)(F). The court agreed. It is clear that the rule effectively requires the company to obtain additional permits. Indeed, the complaint alleges that the rule will cost the company large sums of money to "apply for, obtain, and comply with permit conditions." Also, a company affiant stated that the rule will require it to obtain additional permits. The complaint, therefore, falls within the scope of §509(b)(1)(F). Exclusive appellate jurisdiction is likewise required by §509(b)(1)(E) because the rule amounts to an "other limitation" on the company. The court, therefore, dismissed the case without prejudice, holding that exclusive jurisdiction in this case resides in the Sixth Circuit, where the company had filed a petition for review "simply as a protective measure."