Coal industry protests ‘secret’ negotiations between enviros, EPA

Dirty deeds done secretly.

Greenwire reports,

Peabody Energy Corp. and the National Mining Association are objecting to what they call “secret” settlement negotiations between several environmental groups and U.S. EPA over air pollution from coal mines.

At issue is a 2011 lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia where several environmental groups — including WildEarth Guardians and the Sierra Club — accused EPA of not responding to their petition asking that it list coal mines as a pollution source under the Clean Air Act…

Peabody and the NMA, which won the right to intervene in the case, have gone from merely opposing temporary stays in the proceedings to asking EPA and environmentalists to justify why their litigation should remain alive.

“This stay serves no other purpose than to allow Plaintiffs and EPA to continue to conduct ex parte ‘settlement’ discussions, kept secret from Intervenors, even though the point of the settlement discussions is to establish a timetable for EPA action on a Petition that seeks to regulate Intervenors,” Troutman Sanders LLP attorney Merril Hirsh wrote on behalf of Peabody and NMA.