The Stream Protection Rule: Here Today. Gone Tomorrow? (Updated)


It’s taken 33 years to get here, but the Interior Department released a final regulation yesterday known as the stream protection rule, which takes steps to protect water and streams from pollution generated by coal mining.

A few hours later, Republican lawmakers who favor coal mining announced plans to kill it. 

A repeal could happen in the next legislative session under the Congressional Review Act, wrote Stephen Lee in his story GOP Readies Repeal of New Stream Protection Rule. Under the act, any significant new rule can be subjected to a vote in Congress within 60 legislative days. If both chambers vote the rule down and the president signs off, the regulation is struck, Stephen said.

But already things are heating up. Today, North Dakota filed the first lawsuit over the rule. 

UPDATE: **And by the time this blog first posted, we learned that Rep. Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) introduced a bill to stop the rule. A Jenkins staffer told Stephen that the lawmaker will reintroduce the measure in the 115th Congress. Also of note, the regulation takes effect Jan. 19 -- the day before Donald Trump is inaugurated.  

Stream Protection graphic

 

By Sue Doyle and Stephen Lee