"The result has proven frustration to coal operators. EPA Region III is under no particular deadline for processing responses to permit objections and seems incapable of prescribing precise measures that coal operators must achieve to obtain their NPDES permits."
Browner has not responded.
In addition, two state senators and two delegates sent a letter Thursday to McCabe, saying permits were unnecessarily being delayed.
The state's "job base needlessly erodes as you and your federal colleagues engage in some sort of bureaucratic game of one-upmanship while jeopardizing the livelihood and income potential of state residents."
The letter was sent by Senators Shirley Love, D-Fayette, and Randy Schoonover, D-Greenbrier, and Delegates John W. Shelton, D-Nicholas, and William Stemple, D-Calhoun.
The four lawmakers urged McCabe to cooperate with the executive and legislative branches of government.
One permit being affected is for a mining operation in Clay County which employs 400 people.
Staton said his committee's lawyer is going to start working on a draft of a bill next week.
Mountaintop removal is not a good practice, but "in some areas it's necessary," Staton said.