Essay Sample: Revocation of Corps 404 permit for the Mingo Logan Coal Company

Published: 2023-11-03
Essay Sample: Revocation of Corps 404 permit for the Mingo Logan Coal Company
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Government Business law
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 620 words
6 min read

Part 1: Important Considerations in Issuing a Permit

Once an application for a permit is submitted, the decision to either approve or deny it is based on the general public's reviews, the guidelines in Section 404(b) (1), or the analysis of the dumping areas. The first consideration is the pre-application process. In this stage, the Corps must consider whether the applicant has provided all the necessary information to complete the application for the decision-making process (Blumm & Mering, 2015). The consideration is meant to offer the applicant a viability evaluation of some of the apparent alternatives necessary to fulfill the project's objectives. It also involves discussing with the applicant some measures to manage the effects of the project.

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Secondly, the Corps has to consider the comments from the general public, including federal agencies, local agencies, property owners, and interested parties concerning the impacts of the proposed work. The review of public interest involves the analysis of the potential beneficial or detrimental impacts that the fill-in work would have on factors such as wetlands, environment, navigation, and people’s welfare. The applicant is then allowed to respond to the general public's reviews to ensure that the project does not create future uncertainties.

After the analysis, the Corps may request the applicant to provide extra information to resolve the concerns from the public interest or to revise the project to moderate environmental impacts (Blumm & Mering, 2015). If the application is found to be conflicting with the public interest, the Section 404(b) (1) guidelines no permit is given. Also, no permit is issued if the proposed project involves discharging fill material into the U.S. waters.

Part 2: Revocation of Corps 404 permit for the Mingo Logan Coal Company

The Mingo Logan Company assumed that the Environment Protection Act (EPA) did not have a legal right under Section 404(c) to revoke a site plan after the Corps approved the permit. Secondly, Mingo Logan Company alleged that the final ruling was capricious and not in harmony with the law in breach of the Administrative Procedure Act.

Judge Jackson stroke down the permit for Mingo Logan Company and made a ruling that Environment Protection Act had adequately exercised the authority to revoke its approval for the site's specifications even after the Army Corps had issued a permit (Blood, 2014). Jackson claimed that this authority was following the Spruce No. 1 Mine in West Virginia. The EPA can object to the already approved permits. Also, in a situation that the objections are not determined to EPA’s satisfaction, it has the power to prevent the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) from approving the permits.

Also, Judge Jackson's ruling was based on the detrimental impacts of the fill material's downstream disposal. I agree with Judge Jackson's judgment to revoke the permit based on the fact that the company risked disposing of dredged material downstream, something that would be against the Clean Water Act. I also concur with Judge Jackson's ruling based since no Act that suggests that EPA should exercise its veto powers only before issuing the permit. After assessing the company's operational impacts and collecting reviews from the public, the EPA should be able to decide whether to revoke the permit. In this case, the EPA only realized the detrimental effects of the Mingo Logan Company after approval of the permit. Therefore to prevent further ecological pollution, the EPA had the power to revoke the certification.


Blood, S. (2014). Retroactive Environmental Justice:" Mingo Logan Coal Co. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency". Ecology Law Quarterly, 41(2), 589-595.

Blumm, M. C., & Mering, E. (2015). Vetoing Wetland Permits Under Section 404 (c) of the Clean Water Act: A History of Inter-Federal Agency Controversy and Reform. UCLA J. Envtl. L. & Pol'y, 33, 215.

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