In this case, Arch Coal subsidiary Hobet Mining Inc. wanted a Clean Water Act permit for five-square-mile mine near Blair, Logan County.
Corps officials proposed to permit the operation under a general, nationwide permit authorization, rather than a more stringent individual permit.
In March, Haden temporarily blocked the Corps from doing so. Environmental groups and coalfield residents had challenged the Corps' action, saying the mine must go through an individual permit application.
Haden scheduled trial to start July 13 on the permit, and related allegations of a "pattern and practice" of illegal mountaintop removal permitting by the Corps and the DEP.
Earlier this week, Rusak asked Haden to delay ruling on a number of procedural maneuvers in the case.
In a court motion, Rusak said he needed until at least Monday to investigate the "new material facts" he had discovered. The motion did not elaborate on the matter.
Among the maneuvers Rusak wanted to delay a ruling on was an effort by environmental group lawyers to depose Corps officials about any discussions the agency had with members of West Virginia's congressional delegation about the Arch permit.
In a three-page order Thursday, Haden denied Rusak's delay motion.
"The Court determines even a brief stay or extension of time would strain a very compressed pretrial schedule," the judge said.
On Thursday, the Corps said it would not approve the Spruce Mine under a nationwide permit. The agency said Arch Coal will have to pursue a more stringent, individual permit.
That could take up to two years, according to government officials.
Nearly 400 miners stand to lose their jobs, at least temporarily, because Arch Coal has not submitted a permit that regulators and the courts will approve.
To contact staff writer Ken Ward Jr., call 348-1702, or e-mail kw...@wvgazette.com.