Bill Johnson (Republican – Ohio) introduced the House Joint Resolution 38 to nullify the rule Submitted by the Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement on December 20, 2016 to address impacts of surface coal mining operations on surface water, groundwater, and the productivity of mining operation sites.
The Joint Resolution was introduced in the House of Representatives on January 30, 2017, and passed by a vote of 228-194 on February 1. The Joint Resolution was passed in the Senate without amendment 54-45 on February 2, 2017 and presented to the President on February 6, 2017.
SUMMARY OF RULE TO BE NULLIFIED (81 Fed. Reg. 93066)
The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement revised their regulations based on advances in science among other things to improve the balance between environmental protection and the Nation’s need for coal as an energy source. The final rule was intended to better protect water supplies, surface water, and groundwater quality, streams, fish, wildlife and related environmental values from adverse impacts of surface coal mining operations and to provide mine operators guidelines to avoid pollution and long-term cost associated with water treatment.
The rule is described in full here: 81 Red. Reg. 93066
There were 71 cosponsors, listed in full at the Congress.gov site summary page for the Resolution.