Earthjustice News Release
Obama Administration Finalizes Action to Protect U.S. Waterways and Communities from Destruction by Coal Industry
Washington, D.C. —Today, the Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement released its final Stream Protection Rule, a modest update to the rules intended to protect our Nation’s water resources from damage by destructive coal mining practices, including mountaintop removal mining in Appalachia. Action to strengthen these protections is long overdue, and more work still remains to be done. Over the last thirty years, a combination of weak rules and poor enforcement has allowed mountaintop removal operations to destroy an estimated 2,000 miles of streams in Appalachia, and pollute even more. This destructive practice has also been linked to such harmful health problems as birth defects and cancer, putting countless communities at unnecessary risk.
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