WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) released the following statement regarding the Stream Protection rule announced by the Department of Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement today:

“No one cares more about West Virginia’s streams and water quality than those living in the Mountain State. This far-reaching regulation fails to consider the benefits our state’s mining operations provide to West Virginia’s economy. I will continue to work on a bipartisan basis to advance legislation that pushes back against this and other regulations that needlessly increase regulatory burdens and eliminate more mining jobs.”


Senator Capito is a co-sponsor of the Supporting Transparent Regulatory and Environmental Actions in Mining Act of 2015 (STREAM Act), which was introduced in May by Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.). This bill would require the Secretary of the Interior to make publically available all scientific products and data used to draft the Stream Protection rule, or to delay and possibly withdraw the rule. The bill also prohibits the Interior Secretary from issuing a rule or determinations that needlessly duplicate or overlap with current environmental laws, such as the Clean Water Act, under the jurisdiction of other agencies.

For West Virginians wishing to weigh in, the proposed rule will be open for public comment for a period of 60 days. Written comments will be accepted through the U.S. Mail, and hand-delivered and couriered comments will be accepted at the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. Comments can also be submitted electronically viawww.regulations.gov.

Public hearings on the proposed rule will also be held in Charleston, West Virginia; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Lexington, Kentucky; Denver, Colorado; and St. Louis, Missouri.