DEQ Director releases testimony to a U.S. Senate Committee on regulation of coal mining

(Cheyenne, Wyo.) - Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality Director, Todd Parfitt, released his written testimony, Feb. 3, to U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. The testimony is in regard to the federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Proposed Stream Protection Rule , that would better protect streams, fish, and wildlife from adverse impacts of surface coal mining. "We are deeply disappointed with the development of the Proposed Rule and the lack of engagement with the states in that process," said Parfitt. "Wyoming supports regulations that protect our environment but only those that are reasonable, practicable, and sensible. OSM excluded states from the process, failed to recognize the regional differences that affect mining and reclamation, and is attempting to impose one-size-fits-all regulations on Wyoming based upon science related to Appalachia." Additional concerns raised in his testimony: - OSM has undertaken a comprehensive rewrite of the core regulations implementing SMCRA, and has not limited itself to focusing on stream protection. - The Proposed Rule is a one-size-fits-all regulation that imposes nationwide standards without consideration for the fundamental regulatory, environmental, ecological or economic differences amongst the states. - The Proposed Rule fails to consider Wyoming’s regulatory program and the best practices, including award-winning reclamation techniques, which our regulatory experts have developed over several decades of running the largest surface coal mining program in the country. - The Proposed Rule exceeds OSM’s statutory authority and infringes on the authority and ability of states to implement SMCRA. - The Proposed Rule imposes extensive monitoring and reclamation requirements without sound scientific justification. See Parfitt's full written testimony here . #shortgo #news