A proposed rule to reduce the impact of coal mining on Colorado’s streams will be the subject of a public hearing Tuesday evening in Denver. The coal industry has criticized the rule since it was proposed in July.
The U.S. Department of Interior seeks consistency across all 50 states to maintain a buffer zone that prevents coal mining within 100 feet of streams with some exemptions. Companies would also be required to restore streams and replant native trees and vegetation after they end mining operations.
If the rule is adopted as it stands now, the Department of Interior estimates that about 200 jobs in the coal industry would be lost nationwide. That’s a bitter pill for Colorado’s coal businesses, which are already in the midst of a 20-year low in production.