Another week has passed without a settlement being reached in a federal court case over mountaintop removal mining.
By late Friday, no proposed deals were filed in U.S. District Court in Charleston. A federal judge, however, refused another request to delay the trial again.
Chief U.S. District Judge Charles H. Haden told lawyers in the case that the Aug. 2 trial date would stand.
Ben Bailey, a private lawyer hired to represent the state Division of Environmental Protection, had asked Haden on Thursday to postpone the trial.
In a letter to the judge, Bailey said he has a trial in a civil case scheduled the same day in Marshall County Circuit Court. Judge Mark A. Karl refused to reschedule that case, Bailey said.
"Because I have personally been involved in key depositions and preparations in both cases, it is not really feasible for other lawyers (in my small firm or from other firms) to substitute for me in either one," Bailey said.
In a letter also dated Thursday, Haden rejected the delay.
Haden noted that he originally scheduled the mountaintop removal trial for September, but moved up the date to July 13 at the request of coal operators and DEP.
Then, on July 9, Haden delayed the trial for three weeks to give the lawyers time to put the finishing touches on a settlement resolving most of the issues.