Proposed Regulation Could Impact Coal Companies | VideoJennifer Joas | 7/3/2012
Mountain top mining in the Appalachians is catching flack from federal government agencies because the mountains are not looking the way they were before they were mined. Although we don`t have that problem here, the repercussion could be nationwide.
"If it were to come out in the form that it was presented to us, it would have some drastic affects on what we`re able to actually mine and how we`re actually able to reclaim the land and where our operations could go," said North American Coal Corporation Manager of Government and Public Affairs David Straley.
The North American Coal Corporation got word of a leaked proposal in the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, under the Department of Interior. The Stream Protection Rule would require mining companies to stay several feet away from streams.
Straley says the one-size fits all approach doesn`t work because many North Dakota streams remain inactive unless we get major rain.
"We`d have to look at the effects, look at what it would do, look at how far we`d have to stay back, and come up with an operations plan that could be more costly, and could affect the way and the amount of tons we actually mine."
Straley is standing on some of the reclaimed land, and says reclamation laws are the strictest in North Dakota, but the standards aren`t as high in other states.
He is hoping if the stream protection rule is proposed, the North American Coal Corporation can add input and sway the final decision.
Coal mines in North Dakota can currently mine right through streams, then reclaim them.