Washington, D.C. — US Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) strongly criticized the proposed Stream Protection Rule released by U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) July 16. The proposed rule, which is based on undisclosed data and was written without proper consultation with the states, would place increased regulations on coal mining and cost thousands of West Virginia jobs.
“This Administration’s long list of overreaching regulations is absolutely crippling West Virginia families and businesses,” Senator Manchin said. “This proposed rule would have a devastating impact on our families, jobs and economy, and it fails to strike an appropriate balance between the economy and the environment. I urge my colleagues to take immediate action on the STREAM Act to rein in this harmful rule.”
In May, Senator Manchin, along with Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Senator Dan Coats (R-IN), introduced the bipartisan Supporting Transparent Regulatory and Environmental Actions in Mining (STREAM) Act. The bill would add transparency and stop federal rulemaking overreach related to mining. It would ensure that any rule issued by DOI is based on comprehensive, open data and would not unnecessarily increase regulations or eliminate thousands of jobs.
The STREAM Act would require the Secretary of the Interior to make public all scientific products and data used to draft the new rule or else face delay and eventual withdrawal of the rule. The bill also prohibits the Secretary from issuing rules or determinations that duplicate or overlap with current environmental laws, such as the Clean Water Act, under the jurisdiction of other agencies.
Senator Manchin is urging West Virginians to weigh in on the proposed rule. Public hearings on the proposed rule will be held in Charleston, West Virginia and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Hearings will also be held in Lexington, Kentucky; Denver, Colorado; and St. Louis, Missouri. More information on the hearings will be announced at a later date.
Additionally, the proposed rule will be open for public comment for a period of 60 days. Written comments will be accepted through the U.S. Mail, hand-delivered and couriered comments at OSMRE headquarters in Washington, D.C., and electronically through www.regulations.gov.