Citizen Suits at Risk in West Virginia?

This fall, the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia held that whether landowners are entitled to water replacement under the Surface Coal Mining and Reclamation Act, W. Va. Code ยง 22-3-1 et seq. (“SCMRA”), is a question to be resolved by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) rather than the State’s circuit courts. This ruling has potentially significant effects on the prosecution of citizen suits under SCMRA and similarly-written State environmental laws. Continue reading