Proposed regulations by the US Environmental Protection Agency to protect streams from coal mining are likely to affect coal production across the country, according to a government document released by the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM).
The document says the rules, aimed at mountaintop removal mining, would have an effect on production and jobs within the coal mining industry, reports Associated Press.
The stream protection would bring down coal production drastically leading to an estimated loss of nearly 7,000 mining jobs.
Production is estimated to decline or stay flat in 22 states, but move up in North Dakota, Wyoming and Montana by about 15%.
OSM spokesman Peter Mail said the proposal's aim is to strike a better balance between protecting the public and the environment while providing for viable coal mining.
EPA plans to release the proposed regulations by the end of next month, and has submitted the proposal to various coal producing states for feedback.