WASHINGTON — A new regulation proposed by the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) would improve the balance between providing coal for energy and guarding the environment, according to osmre.gov.

The rule would allow coal to continue to be used as an energy source while better protecting stream, fish, wildlife and other environmental resources, noted the article. Mine operators will receive “a regulatory framework to avoid water pollution and the long-term costs associated with water treatment.” They must also use the most up to date science and technology.

OSMRE regulations currently require miners “to clearly define ‘material damage to the hydrologic balance outside the permit area,’” stated the article. Each permit must also be clear about how mining impacts groundwater and surface water.

Under the proposition, operators would be required to “collect adequate pre-mining data about the site of the proposed mining operation and adjacent areas to establish an adequate baseline for evaluation of the impacts of mining and the effectiveness of reclamation,” reported the article.

The rule would also strengthen detection and correction of any harmful activities in groundwater and surface water, shared the article. Many of the changes to the rule were done to improve consistency, clarity, accuracy and ease of use.

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