The appeal states that the blasting restrictions are "arbitrary, capricious, unreasonable and unnecessary."
"There are no facts or findings in DEP's permit record to explain, support or justify these conditions all in violation of applicable laws and regulations," the appeal states. "These conditions also effectively sterilize substantial coal reserves, thereby effecting a taking of those reserves without just compensation."
The Dal-Tex expansion is still held up because of separate permits that haven't been issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection A-gency and the Army Corps of Engineers.
Some citizens who live near the Dal-Tex operation allege Hobet Mining has already started work on the new mine.
In a complaint filed with the DEP Office of Mining and Reclamation, environmental lawyer Joe Lovett said that the company was cutting trees and installing a power line in the permit area.
The mining permit issued by DEP stated that "no disturbance, including cutting of timber in preparation for mining, is allowed on this permit until such time as" the EPA permit is issued.
During a hearing in federal court in November, Hobet lawyers agreed that the company would not commence any mining activities until the EPA allows a water permit for the mine to be issued.
DEP inspector Harold Ward looked into the complaint, and decided it was without merit.
"While select harvest timbering is active north of Pigeonroost, logging operations have been active in the permit area for the last three to four years under contract from the land holding company and from observations have not escalated since permit received OMR approval," Ward wrote in a complaint investigation report.
"The only clear-cutting found was related to power line relocation and was obviously not for the purpose of mineral extraction," Ward wrote. "Mining activity has not been initiated on this permit."