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Mountaintop Mining Regulation to Stay Same for Now

14 December 2009

The US head for the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Joe Pizarchik has adopted a wait-and-see approach to regulation of mountaintop removal mining and will not implement any immediate changes.

Pizarchik told Associated Press that before making a decision on mountaintop removal mining he will tour the mountaintop mines in Appalachia in Virginia and consult coal producers, green activists and rural communities.

In the case that changes are adopted, they will be mostly enforced in the east region of the US.

Green activist groups such as the Sierra Club, however, are opposing Pizarchik's cautious approach.

They would like to see a ban on mountaintop removal coal mining, which is mostly done in Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia.

Changes to federal surface mining regulation will hinge on inspections by OSM personnel.