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Why it Matters
This rule was developed “in order to avoid or minimize impacts on surface water, groundwater, fish, wildlife, and other natural resources” from coal mining. In particular, it was designed to prevent mountain-top mining operations – where the top of a mountain is blown off with dynamite to reach underground coal seams – from dumping the mountain rubble in nearby valleys and waterways.
The Obama DOI finalized the Stream Protection Rule on December 20, 2016, which aimed to protect water quality from mountaintop mining and other coal operations. Congress disapproved the rule under the Congressional Review Act, barring DOI from creating another rule that is “substantially the same.”
Dec. 20, 2016 The Department of the Interior (DOI) publishes the Stream Protection Rule.
Feb. 1, 2017 The House of Representatives passed a resolution to repeal the rule under the Congressional Review Act.
Feb 2, 2017 The Senate passed a resolution to repeal the rule under the CRA.
Feb. 16, 2017 President Trump signed HJ Res. 38 into law, disapproving the Stream Protection Rule. Under the Congressional Review Act, DOI may not promulgate a rule that is “substantially the same.”