10/03/2017 - Regulatory Rollback

Stream Protection Rule

by Caitlin McCoy, Robin Just

The Environmental & Energy Law Program is tracking the environmental regulatory rollbacks of the Trump administration. Click here for the list of rules we are following. If you’re a reporter and would like to speak with an expert on this rule, please email us.

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.

Current Status

This rule has been repealed.


Dec. 20, 2016 The Department of the Interior (DOI) publishes the Stream Protection Rule.

Trump Era

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.”