Washington (AP) -- The Obama Administration wants tougher environmental reviews for coal companies that mine the appalachians by blasting off mountaintops and discarding the rubble in stream valleys.
The administration plans to announce Thursday a proposal to eliminate the expedited reviews that have made it easier for mining companies to get approval for mountaintop mining.
As part of an agreement between three federal agencies, there will also be a series of changes to boost federal oversight and environmental screening of mountaintop removal.
In mountaintop mining, coal companies blast off mountaintops to access coal seams and discard the rock and other debris left over into valleys where streams flow. The practice is common in appalachia.
(Copyright 2009 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
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