KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Gov. Phil Bredesen is urging the Environmental Protection Agency to block a Bush administration-backed proposal to relax restrictions on coal mining near waterways.
In a letter to EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson, the governor
says the U.S. Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement
has allowed more than 1,200 miles of streams in central Appalachia
to be mined through or buried under spoil since 1992.
Bredesen expects this pattern to continue if OSM is granted a
change in rules that permits mine dumping in streams. Kentucky Gov.
Steve Beshear has raised similar concerns.