- Associated Press - Thursday, November 6, 2014

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A judge has rejected a petition seeking to halt further operations at a surface mine near Kanawha State Forest.

Media outlets report that Kanawha County Circuit Judge James Stucky’s decision came Wednesday in a petition filed by the Kanawha Forest Coalition and other opponents of the Keystone Development No. 2 mine. The petition had sought to block a state permit issued to the mine.

Opponents say in court filings that the mine’s continued operation threatens residents’ health and safety and the habitat of endangered bats. They also say the mine disrupts the forest’s viability as a recreational site, nature preserve and visitor attraction.

The opponents also have asked the state Surface Mine Board to revoke the permit. The board is expected to issue a ruling within the next several weeks.

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