Appalachian Citizens’ Law Center, along with Earthjustice and Appalachian Mountain Advocates, have received a temporary injunction directing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to temporarily suspend the permit it issued to Leeco Inc., a subsidiary of James River Coal, for a valley fill on the 756-acre Stacy Branch mine on the border of Perry and Knott County.
The injunction follows a decision in the District Court declaring that the mine could proceed, despite arguments that the Army Corps of Engineers should not have issued a permit because it had not adequately taken into account the human health impacts of the proposed mine. ACLC and co-counsels are appealing the decision to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
“More and more scientific reports are being published linking proximity to large-scale surface mines to numerous health effects, including lung and kidney disease, cancers, and birth defects. We are appealing this case to the Sixth Circuit, because the law requires that human health effects be considered when these large-scale mines are permitted. We are hopeful that on review, the Sixth Circuit will overturn the District Court’s ruling and ensure that the Administration consider the health of the nearby residents before allowing these large-scale mines to go forward,”stated ACLC attorney Mary Cromer.