Thinking about brighter days on the water. Photo: Lydia Stern

Our basin continues to make strides forward with protecting local water resources. However, environmental protections for streams have recently been challenged at the national level. In December 2016 the Department of the Interior issued the Stream Protection Rule was to protect 6,000 miles of streams by creating buffer zones between mines and waterways and preventing coal companies from depositing mining byproducts in creeks. This rule was designed to protect drinking water and require that mining companies adhere to better management and reclamation processes. During the first week of February, voting largely along party lines, the Senate used the Congressional Review Act and voted to roll back the rule.

Moving forward, HCCA will continue to focus on our local issues. We’ll also do our best to keep abreast of national developments that impact our work on the ground.