Reforms for strip mining

The Obama administration is planning tougher environmental reviews for coal companies that mine in Appalachia.

The administration plans to announce a proposal to eliminate the quick reviews that have made it easier for mining companies to get approval for mountaintop mining.

The proposal is part of an agreement between three federal agencies that will lead to a series of changes to boost federal oversight and environmental screening of the practice, which strips mountain tops and discards the rubble in stream valleys.

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