News | January 2, 2014

Ruling on Stream Buffer Zone Rule Expected in 2014

SELC is challenging the 2008 Stream Buffer Zone Rule, a regulation issued in the final days of the Bush administration that removes essential protections against mountaintop removal and surface coal mining that affects some of the most biologically significant waterways in central Appalachia and the United States.

While the Obama administration agreed the rule is legally deficient in one aspect and is intending to adopt a new rule, the Office of Surface Mining nevertheless is defending the rule on other grounds, which SELC asserts are incorrect, and the agency has made little progress on the new rule. 

As of December 2013, the case has been fully briefed and will be argued before the court sometime in 2014.