Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards v. Anninos
On behalf of the Sierra Club and Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards (SAMS), Public Justice filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, challenging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ conclusions that it could use a streamlined nationwide permit for the 1,291-acre Ison Rock Ridge Surface Mine and other similar mines in southwest Virginia and that it had adequately considered historic preservation issues. (The Ison mine would be within sight of the Derby Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.) Nationwide permits can be used only for small projects with cumulatively minimal environmental impacts.
Less than a week after we filed the complaint and threatened to seek a temporary restraining order, the Corps suspendd its permit to A&G Coal Corporation, halting a project that would have filled nearly three miles of streams with mining waste.
Counsel in the case were Jim Hecker, Environmental Enforcement Director at Public Justice; Joe Lovett of the Appalachian Center for the Economy and the Envronment in Lewisburg, WV; Walt Morris of Charlottesville, VA; and Andrea Ferster of Washington, D.C.