NMA Applauds Senate Stream Buffer Zone Bill

National Mining Association (NMA) President and CEO Hal Quinn today urged Senate support for the “Supporting Transparent Regulatory and Environmental Actions in Mining Act of 2015,” or the STREAM Act of 2015, a bill by Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) that would block the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) from further harming the nation’s coal communities with a costly, duplicative and unnecessary regulation of mining activities:

“If ever an agency needed to comply with the president’s request to void a wasteful and duplicative regulation, OSM is that agency and its proposed Stream Protection Rule (SPR) is that regulation. This rule meets every qualification for extinction and then some.

“It duplicates environmental protections already in place that are handled by other federal agencies. It is costly, likely to destroy 7,000 coal mining jobs nationwide, according to the agency’s earlier draft EIS, and almost 80,000 direct jobs – and far more throughout the supply chain – according to an independent study.

“The agency’s own reports show continual improvement in environmental performance at mining operations. State implementing agencies find no purpose for the rule. In fact, the OSM has repeatedly failed to articulate a persuasive reason why it is persisting with this rulemaking, why it does so without lawful authority and why it has ignored its obligation to consult with state agencies.

“This regulation has nothing to do with new science and everything to do with new politics.”