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The Associated Press September 24, 2010, 6:13PM ET

EPA still reviewing W.Va. mountaintop mine permit

The Environmental Protection Agency says a decision on the fate of West Virginia's largest mountaintop removal mine won't be coming for a while.

The EPA's Region 3 administrator was to send a recommendation about Arch Coal Inc.'s Spruce No. 1 mine to headquarters in Washington, D.C., Friday, but an agency spokeswoman won't say what it is.

She says it's part of the internal review process. The next stop is the Office of Water.

A final ruling will come sometime this fall.

EPA received more than 50,000 comments on its plan to veto a Clean Water Act permit that's crucial to the Logan County project.

EPA contends the nearly 2,300-acre mine would cause irreversible damage to the environment.

The mine was permitted in 2007 but has been delayed by lawsuits.


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