Deaths Elsewhere

Deaths Elsewhere

March 27, 2004

Charles H. Haden II, 66, the federal judge who drew national attention in 1999 to the leveling of Appalachian mountaintops for their coal, died March 20, at his home in Morgantown, W.Va.

Appointed by President Gerald R. Ford in 1975, he served as chief judge of U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia until two years ago.

Mr. Haden sided with environmentalists who challenged the strip-mining practice of dynamiting away mountaintops to expose seams of low-sulfur coal. The technique dumps what is known as "valley-fills," at times leaving streams and hollows buried under hundreds of feet of debris for miles around.

The plaintiffs brought their case under the Federal Clean Water Act, and Mr. Haden agreed that the technique violated environmental regulations. His ruling was overturned on appeal.

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