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H.J.Res. 38 (115th): Disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of the Interior known as the Stream Protection Rule.

H.J.Res. 38, now P.L. 115-5, disapproved of the rule submitted by the Department of Interior known as the Stream Protection Rule.

The new rule attempted to reduce the environmental impact of coal mining.  It established a buffer zone rule blocking mining within 100 feet of streams, and imposed stricter policies that required companies to restore land to pre-mining conditions. The rule also required operators to collect data about the site of any proposed operations, as well as adjacent areas, before beginning mining to establish a baseline for measuring impact of mining activities.  Additionally, the rule adjusted monitoring requirements to allow for the rapid detection and correction of any problems in the quality or quantity of surface and groundwater, and looked to ensure that mine operators and regulatory agencies use the most current science and technology.  These adjustments were made through the alteration of 475 individual regulations enforced through the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act.

The rule, published on December 19, 2016, was in effect from January 19, 2017 until February 16, 2017, when H.J.Res. 38 became P.L. 115-5.

Last updated Mar 13, 2017. Source: Republican Policy Committee

The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Feb 17, 2017.


(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The summary of that version is repeated here.)

This joint resolution nullifies the Stream Protection Rule finalized by the Department of the Interior's Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement on December 20, 2016. The rule addresses the impacts of surface coal mining operations on surface water, groundwater, and the productivity of mining operation sites.