coal mining en Federal Judge Overturns EPA Water Quality Regulations <p>A federal judge says the Environmental Protection Agency overstepped its powers by setting up water-quality criteria for coal mining operations in Appalachia.</p><p>U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton in Washington ruled Tuesday in a lawsuit filed by a coal mining industry coalition against the EPA and Administrator Lisa Jackson. Walton said the EPA infringed on the authority given to state regulators by federal clean water and surface mining acts.</p> Tue, 31 Jul 2012 20:09:05 +0000 The Associated Press 1177 at State Uses Helicopters to Watch Mines <p>State government inspectors have been using aerial surveillance to watch coal operators in central Appalachia.</p><p>Helicopter flights have cost The Kentucky Division of Mine Reclamation and Enforcement more than $477,000 over the past four years, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.</p><p>News of the flyovers surprised mining industry leaders, including Kentucky Coal Association President Bill Bissett, who protested the covert nature of the inspections and questioned their effectiveness.</p> Fri, 13 Jul 2012 16:50:19 +0000 The Associated Press & Cameron Price 998 at