STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY
H.R. 1644 – STREAM Act
(Rep. Mooney, R-WV, and 34 cosponsors)
The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 1644, which would delay for at least three years updated regulations, known as the Stream Protection Rule, to protect streams from the effects of destructive surface coal mining practices. Such a needless delay of these important safeguards would impact the communities and economies that depend on clean water and a healthy environment.
The current stream protection requirements governing surface mining activities are more than 30 years old and do not incorporate significant advances in scientific knowledge and mining and reclamation techniques. An arbitrary three year restriction to block the updated modern, science‑based regulations would significantly impair the ability of the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) to accomplish the mission and responsibilities the Congress laid out in the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977, including preserving clean water, human health, and the environment.
H.R. 1644 would prevent the restoration of hundreds of streams, result in deterioration of water quality for thousands of stream miles, and create sustained regulatory uncertainty, as well as public health impacts for downstream communities. In addition, the bill would impose arbitrary requirements and unnecessary processes that would seriously impede OSMRE’s ability to use the best available science to protect public health and the environment.
If the President were presented with H.R. 1644, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.