Trump Signs Bill Allowing Big Coal to Pollute Streams

WASHINGTON (Feb. 16, 2017) – President Trump today signed a bill overturning the Department of Interior’s Stream Protection Rule under the Congressional Review Act. 

The following is a statement by Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council:

“This frees Big Coal to bury pristine streams beneath toxic waste, pollute drinking water sources, kill fish and wildlife and scar the land.  Our mountain communities will pay the price. 

“And the way President Trump and congressional Republicans did this—using the Congressional Review Act—not only destroys existing protections, but also could block similar safeguards in the future.

“This bill is part of a broader assault on our government’s ability to protect the public. Other measures like this include the president’s illegal 2-for-1 Executive Order to eliminate existing rules, and extreme legislative proposals like the Regulatory Accountability Act, and the REINS Act, which would effectively shut down the entire regulatory system.”


The Stream Protection Rule, issued in December, places greater responsibility on mining companies for damage to streams from destructive mountaintop removal operations.  It also requires testing and monitoring of areas that could be affected by mining.  Over the next two decades, the rule was projected to safeguard 6,000 miles of streams and 52,000 acres of forest from pollution by coal companies.

For more on more on the rule, click here.

For additional information, please see this blog by NRDC’s Theo Spencer.

NRDC’s latest entry from TrumpWatch will appear here.


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The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 2 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City; 

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