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Coal industry pushes for changes


The National Mining Association says it’s pushing Congress to ease rules for surface mining permits Appalachia.

The organization this week released a letter asking Congress to change how Clean Water Act permits are issued for surface mines. The letter is also signed by coal associations in Kentucky, West Virginia, Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Ohio and Virginia.

Separately, the NMA released a letter signed by Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., and eight other members of Congress that asks the Corps of Engineers about the backlog.

The flow of permits slowed in 2007 due to a court decision that’s since been reversed, and again in March when the Environmental Protection Agency announced plans to give permits greater scrutiny.

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