CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Rep. David McKinley is touting legislation that he says would limit federal environmental veto power over permits for coal mines.
The 1st District Republican says the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee voted in favor of his legislation on Wednesday. It now heads to the House floor.
The Environmental Protection Agency revoked a Clean Water Act permit in 2011 that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had awarded years earlier to Arch Coal Inc. and its Mingo Logan Coal Co. subsidiary.
The EPA said destructive, unsustainable practices at the Spruce No. 1 mine in Logan County would cause irreparable environmental damage.
McKinley cast his legislation as a job protection measure. He says "hundreds of thousands of jobs" hang in the balance if the EPA is allowed to retroactively revoke permits.
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