Boxer advocates for Stream Protection Rule in EPW hearing
“A growing body of peer-reviewed science shows that people living downstream from coal mines face a greater risk of cancer, birth defects, and premature death,” Boxer said. “For the first time, the proposed Stream Protection Rule will require coal mining companies to collect baseline data on water quality and require mining companies to monitor streams during mining and reclamation to ensure that downstream waters are not harmed.”
Boxer made an example of the practice of mountaintop removal coal mines, which cuts off the tops of mountains and results in excess rock and soil being deposited into headwater streams, sometimes allowing mining waste including selenium, arsenic and lead to leach into those waters.
“It is clear that the three-decade old regulations are not working to protect our drinking water supplies,” Boxer said. “With overwhelming science clearly showing the impacts of certain mining practices on the environment and public health, we cannot allow the coal companies to continue with business as usual. The Department of the Interior is doing the right thing by working to modernize its mining rules, and the Stream Protection Rule will hold the coal industry to consistent national standards for protection of water quality.”