The Office on Surface Mining has proposed a new rule to weaken regulations regarding stream buffer zones at Mountaintop Removal mining sites.
The current rule requires mining operations to obtain a variance showing no impact to water quality or quantity for activities within 100 feet of a stream, but the rule is often disregarded with MTR valley fills. The rule change proposed by OSM would lift the buffer zone protection altogether.
A recent survey conducted by the non-partisan Opinion Research Corporation found that two-thirds of Americans oppose the administration's proposed rule. More details on the survey can be found at: http://www.700mountains.org/release091307.cfm
OSM is required to receive public comment on the rule change through October 23. Comments can be submitted to the Federal Register at: http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main?main=DocketDetail&d=OSM-2007-0007
Documents on the rule change can be found on the OSM website: http://www.osmre.gov/
Saturday, September 15, 2007