December 19, 2016

Manchin Statement on Release of Final Stream Protection Rule

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) today released the following statement in response to the U.S. Department of Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement’s (OSMRE) announcement that it has finalized the stream protection rule.  

“While we all must carefully review this 1,648 page final rule, I want to reiterate that the proposed rule was very alarming in its scope and potential impacts. I believe that the manner in which this rule making was executed was flawed and lacked transparency, and I will pursue legislation to ensure it does not harm our coal mining communities and economies,” Senator Manchin said. “Rules by the Department of the Interior and OSMRE must be based on comprehensive data that is available to stakeholders, particularly when those rules threaten to eliminate thousands of jobs. Furthermore, agencies should not be issuing duplicative rules that overlap with regulations under other environmental laws such as the Clean Water Act.”

“Last year, I cosponsored the Supporting Transparent Regulatory and Environmental Actions in Mining (STREAM) Act, which would require the Secretary of the Interior to make all scientific data which was used to draft the rule public.  This information must be easily accessible and readily available. I remain unconvinced that this jobs-killing regulation is necessary or substantiated, particularly when you consider state and federal regulations already in place. The consequences of this regulation will have far-reaching impacts on the future of coal mining and, therefore, will only serve to hinder development of affordable reliable energy.”

The final stream protection rule will be available here. In June, Senator Manchin sent a letter to Shaun Donovan, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, to express his concern about the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement’s (OSMRE) decision to send its final stream protection rule to the White House without fulfilling obligations for state engagement as directed by Congress. Click here to read the full letter.