Energy Report

Regulators Restore 1983 Stream Protection Rule

Date: February 16, 2015

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To comply with a federal court ruling, the U.S. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement restored an earlier version of a rule meant to protect water quality and stream channels from coal mining waste.

Last February, a court threw out amendments added to the rule in 2008 after determining that the agency failed to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as required by the Endangered Species Act, when writing the regulation. Because the rule is intended to avert the worst impacts of mountaintop removal, the change will have the greatest effect on coal companies operating in Appalachia.

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