A divided panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided Friday to allow mountaintop removal mining without more extensive environmental reviews. The 2-1 decision was written by Judge Roger L. Gregory, joined by Judge Dennis W. Shedd. Judge M. Blane Michael wrote a dissent.
As reported by the Associated Press, the rulings are a blow to environmentalists and coalfield neighbors who oppose the efficient but destructive practice that exposes shallow coal seams.
By Peter Vieth