Church group opposes Bush mine rule change
October 11, 2007 3:09 PM
The West Virginia Council of Churches is slamming the Bush administration and its proposed revision of federal mining rules covering mining near waterways.The group says exempting valley fills from a so-called buffer zone requirement defaces creation and abuses God's gift to humanity.
The council announced its stance today at a press conference outside the state Capitol.
The press conference preceded hearings scheduled for October 24th in Charleston; Hazard, Kentucky; Knoxville, Tennessee; and Washington, Pennsylvania; for comment on the proposed rule change.
The U.S. Office of Surface Mining wants to exempt valley fills from a 20-year-old rule that prohibits any mining activity within 100 feet of a stream.
The new regulations would allow mining that would alter a stream's flow as long as any damage to the environment is repaired later.
While the proposal would apply nationwide, valley fills generally refer to mountaintop removal mining sites. During such mining, excess rock and dirt is dumped in fills that often bury streams.
On the Net: Office of Surface Mining: http://www.osmre.gov/