"Today's announcement is a major step in the direction of fulfilling this commitment," said corps chief Jo-Ellen Darcy.
Three years ago, U.S. District Judge Robert C. Chambers, in Huntington, ruled that the corps was wrong not to consider broader impacts of fills.
"The terrestrial and other upland effects of the valley fills are important environmental consequences of the corps' permit action which the corps has failed to consider," Chambers wrote. "The corps must gather information and assess all environmental impacts caused by the fill."
That ruling was later overturned by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
On Thursday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had announced new guidance aimed at limiting the downstream water pollution from valley fills.
Environmental groups have praised the Obama administration's action, but coal industry officials say the new restrictions are not justified and will cost the region jobs.
EPA has cited a growing scientific consensus that mountaintop removal is destroying forests, damaging water quality and threatening public health in coalfield communities.
Reach Ken Ward Jr. at kw...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1702.