Coal Mines

News & Analysis as of

ALJ Rules Mine Operators Do Not Have Right to Perform Pre-operational Examinations of Equipment Prior to MSHA Inspection, Citing...

In an opinion issued on December 10, 2013, Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission Administrative Law Judge Richard Manning ruled that allowing operators to perform examinations of mobile equipment immediately prior...more

State Primacy in Coal Mining Regulations Challenged: Environmental Group Seeks Federal Court Jurisdiction

State sovereignty over the regulation of coal mining is again under attack by anti-industry groups. In Montana Environmental Information Center, et al. v. Stone-Manning, et al., Appeal No. 13-35107 (Ninth Circuit Court of...more

States’ Primary Authority to Regulate Coal Mining Pursuant to SMCRA Under Assault

As suggested in a “Guidance Memorandum” issued by the Obama Administration in November 2009, and solidified through a Memorandum issued by the U.S. Department of Interior’s Office of Surface Mining (“OSM”) in November 2010,...more

Third Circuit Dismisses NSR Action Against Coal Plant, Affirms Limits of Clean Air Act Liability

On August 21, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit roundly dismissed an enforcement action brought under the federal Clean Air Act (CAA or the Act) by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and several...more

The Permit Shield Defense: No Shield Absent Full Disclosure

The Clean Water Act permit shield provision provides that compliance with an NPDES permit constitutes compliance with the CWA. What happens the permit does not mention a particular pollutant? In Southern Appalachian...more

Water Trigger Becomes a Reality for Coal Mining and Coal Seam Gas Developments

Senate Approves "Water Trigger" Amendment to EPBC Act - The "water trigger" amendment to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) was recently approved by Senate and has become law....more

EPA Declines to Create New Air Pollution Control Program for Coal Mines – For Now.

By letter dated April 30, 2013, EPA Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe denied a petition filed by the Sierra Club and other groups, seeking to have the agency issue a determination pursuant to section 111 of the federal...more

Energy And Environment Update -- May 13, 2013

In This Issue: Energy & Climate Debate; Congress; Administration; Department of Energy; Environmental Protection Agency; Department of Interior; Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; Department of Commerce; Department...more

D.C. Appeals Court Says EPA May Revoke Fill Permit After It Has Been Issued

In addressing an important legal issue of first impression, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s “veto” authority under Section 404(c) of the...more

Appeals Court Reinstates EPA “Veto” Over Corps’ Mining-Related Permit - Mingo Logan decision creates uncertainty in Clean Water...

In a surprising reversal, on April 23, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit overturned a lower court order issued on March 23, 2012, in the case of Mingo Logan Coal Company v. U.S. Envtl. Prot....more

Judicial Scrutiny, Proposed Settlements and Avoiding Settlement Rejections

In August 2012, the Federal Mine Safety & Health Review Commission (“FMSHRC”), the body that oversees the legal administration and review process of contested violations by mine operators, determined that Commission...more

MSHA Inspection Failures Poised to Increase Inspection Activities

Two recent news items shine a spotlight on MSHA, its inspection corps, and several publicly acknowledged inspection failures. On February 5, 2013, the W.Va. Supreme Court published a decision that, for purposes of the Federal...more

Legislative Update Report No. 2013-03 -- Feb 8, 2013 .

In This Article: Federal Government; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland; Northwest Territories; Nova Scotia; Nunavut; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Québec/Quebec; Saskatchewan; and Yukon....more

Ontario Ministry of Labour Inspection Blitzes 2013

The Ontario Ministry of Labour is conducting various safety blitzes again this year, which they recently announced. The upcoming blitzes will affect workplaces in the areas of underground mines, industrial, construction and...more

HEALTH AND SAFETY CLIENT ALERT: MSHA Issues a Final Rule to Revise the POV System

On Wednesday, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) kicked off its regulatory agenda by lifting the veil on its final rule to revise the Pattern of Violations (POV) system under 30 C.F.R. Part 104. Unless...more

Patton Boggs Insights - December 2012: Litigation/Courts: Kentucky Mine Operator, Supervisors Plead Guilty

A Kentucky coal mine operator and two of its supervisors have pled guilty to willful safety violations in the wake of a miner’s death....more

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