"The Corps has required sufficient mitigation and reduction in the scope of he project to fully protect the environmental values," the department said.
Chief DEP mining lawyer Russ Hunter said that the environmentalists have not shown that the agency violated any mandatory duties.
"The fact that Plaintiffs would have made different conclusions relative to certain findings does not in and of itself establish a failure to perform a non-discretionary duty," Hunter wrote.
McClusky said that the permit does not violate federal stream buffer zone rules, approximate original contour standards, or contemporaneous reclamation regulations.
McClusky submitted written statements supporting the permit from David Fisher, a company environmental consultant, and George Hall, a former industry consultant now working as a state Division of Highways engineer.
McClusky also submitted a written statement from Bob Bays, Arch Coal's general manager for West Virginia operations.
"Should further delays occur, the Dal-Tex operations will sustain additional financial losses which could range in the millions," Bays said. "The company would suspend most of its active mining operations, rather than confront this prospect."