Hobet's lawyers from the firm Jackson & Kelly filed a notice of appeal Thursday, indicating that they will ask the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to throw out Haden's injunction.
But Roger Wolfe, lead lawyer for Hobet, said he is no longer confident the coal industry will win the "pattern and practice" case that challenges mountaintop removal permitting.
"I can't be real optimistic about the chances of Judge Haden ruling differently on the same kinds of issues in the pattern and practice case," Wolfe said Thursday.
"This is the most scrutinized permit in the history of the state of West Virginia," Wolfe said. "If if doesn't pass, what does that say about the others?"
Wolfe, however, added that he disagrees strongly with Haden and will challenge the judge on appeal.
"It is my belief that the judge is mistaken," Wolfe said. "I think the DEP did as good a job and the Corps of Engineers did as good a job reviewing this permit as they could have done."
Ben Greene, lobbyist for the West Virginia Mining and Reclamation Association, described the judge's ruling as "cruel and unusual."
"He locked up the whole process, which is fairly punitive and penal," Greene said. "He gives no consideration to the employees down there, which is very unfortunate."
Michael Gheen, chief of permitting for the Corps office in Huntington, said he doesn't think his agency will join in Hobet's appeal of the injunction.
DEP Director Michael Miano said his agency probably won't appeal either, but stuck by his view that mountaintop removal mines are being legally approved.
"I feel that we were properly reviewing permits and that permits were properly issued," Miano said. "I still believe there are no significant impacts from mountaintop removal and valley fills.
"I do not believe that a change in topography is a major environmental impact."