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PENNSYLVANIA COAL MINING ASSOCIATION v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (04/21/82)

decided: April 21, 1982.

PENNSYLVANIA COAL MINING ASSOCIATION, ET AL., AND KEYSTONE BITUMINOUS COAL ASSOCIATION, ET AL.,
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES, ET AL., APPELLANTS AT NOS. 81-1-16 AND 81-1-22. APPEAL OF PENNSYLVANIA CHAPTER OF TROUT UNLIMITED AT NO. 81-1-7. APPEAL OF PENNSYLVANIA ENVIRONMENTAL COUNCIL, INC., ET AL. AT NO. 81-1-71



Nos. 81-1-7, 81-1-16, 81-1-22, 81-1-71, Appeals from the Orders of the Commonwealth Court at Nos. 2718 and 2719 C.D. 1980.

COUNSEL

Patrick C. McGinley, Katherine H. Fein, Pittsburgh, for Pennsylvania Chapter of Trout Unlimited.

Douglas R. Blazey, Chief Counsel, Dept. of Environmental Resources, James D. Morris, Asst. Atty. Gen., Harrisburg, for Dept. of Environmental Resources.

Steven L. Friedman, Dilworth, Paxson, Kalish & Levy, Thomas J. Elliott, Stephen C. Braverman, Timothy W. Callahan, Philadelphia, for Pa. Coal Min. Ass'n, et al.

Henry McC. Ingram, Thomas C. Reed, Rose, Schmidt, Dixon, Hasley, Whyte & Hardesty, Pittsburgh, for Keystone Bituminous Coal Ass'n, et al.

Nix, Justice. Larsen, J., filed a dissenting opinion.

Author: Nix

[ 498 Pa. Page 2]

OPINION

On November 11, 1980, the Pennsylvania Coal Mining Association (PCMA), Sunbeam Coal Corporation, and West Freedom Mining Corporation filed a petition for review in the Commonwealth Court in the nature of a complaint in equity seeking to enjoin the appellants, Department of Environmental Resources, et al., (DER) from submitting a State Program to the Office of Surface Mining of the Department of Interior (OSM) under the Federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977, 30 U.S.C. ยง 1201 et seq. (1977). The State Program was to be effective when approved by

[ 498 Pa. Page 3]

OSM. A similar petition for review was filed by the Keystone Bituminous Coal Association and member companies on November 12, 1980. The two actions were consolidated by the Commonwealth Court.

Pennsylvania Coal Mining Association and Keystone Bituminous Coal Association moved for a preliminary injunction on November 13, 1980. A hearing was held in the Commonwealth Court on November 20, 1980. On the day of the hearing appellants, Pa. Chapter of Trout Unlimited (Trout Unlimited), Pa. Environmental Council, Inc., The Pa. Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs, The Pa. Chapter of the Sierra Club and Wyona Coleman filed an application for leave to intervene. After the hearing on November 20, 1980, the application for leave to intervene was denied. The order of November 20, 1980 did not name Trout Unlimited in its denial. Subsequently, the court amended its order denying Trout Unlimited leave to intervene.

An injunction was granted on November 26, 1980 enjoining DER from submitting a State Program to OSM until the completion of federal judicial review of the Federal Act and Permanent Program regulations. The order, however, did not prohibit DER from continuing to attempt to develop a State Program which met the requirements of the Federal Act during the term of that order. Moreover, ...


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