EPA halts mountaintop mining permits

As many as 200 surface mining permits may be in jeopardy after the Environmental Protection Agency’s top administrator Lisa Jackson asked for a more thorough review of the environmental impact of such practices. The Appalachian coal industry thought it had the go ahead last month when an appeals court overturned a ruling requiring more thorough reviews. But the EPA is now claiming it has authority over any such rulings–an oversight function the agency rarely exercised during the Bush administration.