Washington, DC – The Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement has finalized the Stream Protection Rule. The comprehensive rule was proposed in July of 2015. The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement has finalized a rule that will create monitoring requirements to enable timely detection and correction of any adverse trends in the quality or quantity of surface water and groundwater or the biological condition of streams. The rule reflects an effort to update, after thirty years, scientific standards and regulations and not operate in an antiquated time when we know the importance of stream restoration and its ability to support the ecosystems, wildlife, anglers, and the local communities that depend on it. Complete with a Final Environmental Impact Statement, over 150,000 comments and robust stakeholder engagement, the successful implementation of this important rule is a critical step forward to enhanced wildlife protections and enhanced standards for coal country.
“Today’s finalization of the Stream Protection Rule is an important step forward for wildlife protection,” said Collin O’Mara, president and chief executive officer of the National Wildlife Federation. “At its core, this rule is a water quality rule that will enhance the public health of people, the communities they live in and the fish and wildlife habitat and ecosystems that support them. Similar to our efforts in Flint, Michigan, the National Wildlife Federation is a strong proponent of access to clean and healthy water for all Americans and the environment that support them. This rule will ensure the protection and restoration of streams and update the requirements needed to protect threatened or endangered species and critical wildlife and wild places. We urge the incoming Congress and Trump administration to uphold and enforce this important rule.”
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More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 53 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.