Published On: 11/24/2015

SME files comments on Stream Protection Rule

The Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (SME) filed comments opposing the Office of Surface Mining’s (OSMRE) proposed Stream Protection Rule on October 16, 2015. On October 27, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on the development and potential implementation of the proposed Rule.

In thanking OSMRE for its efforts to address this important issue, SME Executive Director David L. Kanagy requested the agency to extend the comment period again.

“Ninety days is an insufficient time to review such a sweeping change in regulations, especially considering the obvious technical shortcomings already discovered,” stated Kanagy.

SME’s Government and Public Affairs Committee drafted the comments that attack the agency’s proposal to use a model mine that does not accurately predict impacts in relation to different sizes of mining operations.

Further, SME is critical of the general monitoring requirement that does not recognize the biological and ecological variation in ephemeral streams across the coal regions defined by OSMRE in the proposal, and that it is not a given that any and all onsite changes due to mining also results in offsite changes.

A full copy of SME’s comments can be found here. Opening Congressional remarks and panelists’ testimony on the OSM proposal from an October 27 hearing held by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee can be found here.

The Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc. (SME) is a professional society (nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation) whose more than 15,000 membership represents all professionals serving the minerals industry in more than 100 countries. SME members include engineers, geologists, metallurgists, educators, students and researchers. SME advances the worldwide mining and underground construction community through information exchange and professional development. SME's staff is located in Englewood, Colorado.

For more information contact John Hayden, Deputy Executive Director - Public Affairs and Government Relations, at (303) 948-4250 or