OSM announces final environmental impact statement for revised “Excess Spoil Minimization — Stream Buffer Zone” rule

America’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) has announced the availability of the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) evaluating potential changes to the excess spoil and coal mine waste disposal rules as well as the stream buffer zone rule. The final environmental impact statement provides decision makers with information about the impacts that could result if these rules are revised.

The rulemaking alternatives considered in the FEIS address two requirements of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA): to prevent additional contributions of sediment to streams outside the permit area, and to minimise adverse impacts on fish and wildlife and related environmental values. The alternatives would address environmental concerns about the impacts of disposal of excess rock from coal mine excavation (”excess spoil”), coal mine waste, and other coal mining activities in and around streams. They would require minimisation of impacts from these activities, and would clarify existing requirements that are not now interpreted consistently….more at International Mining