Environmental Protection Agency region four administrator Gwen Fleming says, despite tense negotiations in the past, cooperation between her agency and state government on issues such as surface mining and emission standards is still possible.
Speaking at the Governor's Conference on Energy and the Environment in Lexington, Fleming talked about her priorities, which include what she called "environmental justice" and helping to spur job growth. She highlighted several instances where EPA regulations have created demand for new products, such as catalytic converters and smokestack scrubbers.
The claim isn't likely to impress Governor Steve Beshear's administration or the coal industry, however. Both sued the EPA over its blocking of state-issued permits last year, charging that the move was part of a political agenda and would put coal miners out of work. Fleming called on both sides to take a step back and try to find some common ground.