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Regulators To Allow Stream Recreation In Mountaintop Mining

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Federal regulators are allowing
developers to recreate streams buried under rubble excavated from
mountaintop removal coal mines and other projects.

That's a change for the Army Corps of Engineers and
Environmental Protection Agency. They haven't allowed developers to
recreate streams to offset environmental damage.

Some environmentalists are criticizing the new rule issued
Monday.

Earthjustice lawyer Joan Mulhern says the Bush Administration is
trying to help the corps' appeal of a ruling that requires more
extensive environmental assessments before the corps issues Clean
Water Act permits for surface mines. Environmentalists maintain
that no one has successfully recreated a stream.

The regulators say the rule improves wetlands protection.


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