FRANKFORT, Ky. (Legal Newsline) – A nonprofit located in Lexington, Kentucky is challenging the recent disapproval at the federal level of amendments to the state regulatory program that Kentucky uses to implement the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act.
Kentucky Coal Association Inc. filed a complaint on March 29 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Frankfort Division against Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and Acting Director of the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Glenda Owens seeking a petition for judicial review.
According to the complaint, the Commonwealth of Kentucky "adopted regulation to ensure the protection of water quality at mining sites" that was consistently applied for 20 years.
"Yet on Jan. 29, without warning and without legal or factual support, the Secretary reversed course and disapproved the regulation. The Secretary's disapproval decision was arbitrary, capricious, inconsistent with law, and should be set aside," the suit states.
The plaintiff holds Zinke and Owens responsible because the defendants allegedly disapproved a regulation without conducting careful inquiry and provided no adequate explanation for the departure from a long-standing explicit and implicit approval of the a policy.
The plaintiff seeks to vacate the disapproval, award of costs, expenses, reasonable attorney's fees and grant such other relief as the court deems just and appropriate. It is represented by Richard Clayton and Jason T. Ams of Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP in Lexington, Kentucy.
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Frankfort Division case number 3:18-cv-00019-GFVT