National Mining Association v. McCarthy

758 F.3d 243 (2014)

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National Mining Association v. McCarthy

United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
758 F.3d 243 (2014)

Facts

Pursuant to the Clean Water Act (CWA), surface-coal-mining projects that discharged pollutants into navigable waters were required to obtain permits from state authorities. States were required to submit proposed permits to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (defendant) for approval. In 2011, the EPA promulgated a final-guidance document, which recommended that states adopt stricter conditions for issuing CWA permits to surface-coal-mining projects. The final guidance repeatedly stated that it did not impose legally binding requirements. The states of West Virginia and Kentucky, along with coal-mining companies (the states and the companies) (plaintiffs) brought suit against the EPA, contending that the final guidance violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). However, the final guidance had not resulted in the denial of any CWA permits for surface-coal-mining projects. The district court granted summary judgment to the states and the companies. The EPA appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Kavanaugh, J.)

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