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Politicians criticise new Stream Protection Rule

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World Coal,

Politicians of both main US parties have responded to the US Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) proposed Stream Protection Rule, which strengthens regulations protecting streams from coal mining activities.

According to the OMSRE, “the proposed rule would better protect streams, fish, wildlife, and related environmental values from the adverse impacts of surface coal mining operations and provide mine operators with a regulatory framework to avoid water pollution and the long-term costs associated with water treatment.”

Responding to the proposed rule, West Virginia’s Democratic Senator Joe Manchin criticised the administration’s “long list of overreaching regulations” that are “absolutely crippling West Virginia families and businesses”.

“The proposed rule would have a devastating impact on our families, jobs and economy and it fails to strike an appropriate balance between the economy and the environment,” Manchin continued. West Virginia would be one of the state’s hit hardest by the 1238 page rule, which updates regulations first drawn up in 1983.

“No one cares more about West Virginia’s streams and water quality than those living in the Mountain State,’ said West Virginia’s Republican Senator Shelley Moore Capito. “This far-reaching regulation fails to consider the benefits our state’s mining operations provide to West Virginia’s economy.”

In May, Manchin and Capito, as well as Senator Dan Coats of Indiana, introduced the Supporting Transparent Regulation and Environmental Actions in Mining (STREAM) Act, which aims to stop what the senators claim is regulatory overreach related to mining.

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