A federal appeals court panel has upheld a ruling that coal operators in West Virginia have to follow legal water pollution limits.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail reported that a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that a state water pollution permit didn't shield Fola Coal Co. from the water quality standards. The panel said West Virginia rules incorporated the standards into the Department of Environmental Protection permit.
The ruling Wednesday upheld a decision two years ago from U.S. District Judge Robert C. Chambers. The appeals panel said Chambers' ruling reflected "careful fact-based findings" and that Fola's arguments against it failed.
Chambers' ruling concerned mining conductivity pollution that scientists, environmental groups and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have found seriously harmed streams in the Appalachian coalfields.