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Ohio, other states say new waterway rules will hurt mining

| Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015, 1:51 p.m.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The attorneys general of Ohio and West Virginia are leading an effort to oppose new federal rules that clarify which small streams, wetlands and other waterways the government can shield from pollution and development.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey — along with their counterparts from a dozen other states — signed a letter to the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement this week saying that the rules will hurt coal mining operations.

The letter says the rules immensely broaden the federal government's authority at the expense of mining and fail to respect state control over the industry.

The rules are on hold pending federal legal challenges that are continuing the years-long debate over federal water protection authority.

In addition to Ohio and West Virginia, the other states that signed the letter were Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

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