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Kentucky Water Advocate is ‘Disheartened’ by Steam Protection Rule Decision

John MacGregor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region, Flickr Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0)

  The director of a Kentucky water advocacy group said the Congressional action to overturn the Stream Protection Rule is “disheartening.” Congress approved a measure this week to dismantle the Obama administration act preventing mining companies from dumping waste in nearby streams.

The Stream Protection Rule required coal companies to avoid mining practices deemed ‘bad for the environment’ and to restore mined areas to their original state. Kentucky Waterways Alliance Water Policy Director Bijaya Shrestha said the stream protection rule would have protected Kentucky communities around coal mining areas.

“It’s really sad that Congress chose politics over what is needed in our backyards,” Shrestha said.

The Senate approved the repeal Thursday, sending the measure to President Trump expected to sign it. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the rule threatened coal jobs in Kentucky. Senator Rand Paul said the ruling was a victory for the so-called ‘War on Coal’ and would “finally provide relief to our coal industry.”

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