30-Year-Old Rules Protecting Waterways From Coal Mining Under Review

While federal and state officials are still assessing the damage from the Gold King Mine wastewater spill into the Animas River, a new rule for protecting streams from coal mining is up for consideration. The first public hearing on the proposal is In September in Denver.

The Interior Department agency that oversees the environmental effects of coal mining says the proposal overhauls a set of regulations that are 30 years old. Under the new rule, coal companies would have to avoid practices that threaten drinking water, forests and streams, and that increase the risk of floods. Companies would also be required to restore streams and mined areas.

The first hearing is set for Sept. 1 in Denver. Other hearings are scheduled Sept. 3 in Lexington, Kentucky; Sept. 10 in Pittsburgh and St. Louis; Sept. 15 in Big Stone Gap, Virginia; and Sept. 17 in Charleston, West Virginia.