Federal regulators have finalized surface-mining guidelines that have caused controversy in Appalachian coal country, including Eastern Kentucky. The guidelines include a new standard for judging the effect of mining on water quality. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said use of the guidelines will better protect water quality and aquatic life in streams below mountaintop strip mines. Runoff from mining operations contains substances such as chlorides and sulfates that can damage water quality.
EPA Finalizes Surface-Mining Regulations
By Bill Estep, Lexington Herald-Leader • Jul 22, 2011