Whitesburg KY

EPA says review backs new surface mine water rules


An independent advisory board is validating the science used to create strict new water-quality standards aimed at curbing mountaintop removal mining, the Environmental Protection Agency said.

The Science Advisory Board agreed with the EPA’s conclusion that valley fills raise the level of water pollution from mining in streams, and that threatens aquatic life.

The review affirms that sound science, not emotion, is guiding the actions of federal regulators, said Pete Silva, EPA’s assistant administrator for water.

The standards EPA set in April are designed to protect 95 percent of stream animals in six states — West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia and Tennessee.

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