Trump administration’s Interior Department has just called off a $1 million-worth comprehensive study. The research would have taken two years to investigate the health hazards coal mining sites would expose people to if they are opened in the Appalachian Mountains. As a consequence, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine had no other choice than to switch off this project that served the interest of citizens.
President Trump Cut $1.6 Billion out of the Interior Department’s Budget which Led to Project Reviews
The academy announced that they received a letter on Friday on behalf of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. The text contained a cease order on the mission that a committee of 11 members was ready to start. The offered pretext regarded mostly financial reasons. The Department had to make changes to stabilize the situation of its budget.
President Donald Trump ordered $1.6 billion budget cut at the Interior Department for 2018. This proposal included even the elimination of 4,000 positions. Interior Secretary Ryan Zike agreed with this decision. He stated that the budget took normal proportions after the cut.
On the other hand, the letter let the academy know that there are still chances to go through with their investigation on mountaintop coal mining. The department scheduled a $100,000 review to select which projects should be resumed.
Therefore, the committee responsible for studying the health hazards will still organize meetings in Hazard and Lexington, Ky. until Wednesday. Their hope is to receive green light to start their activity by then.
A Study Indicates that Mountaintop Removal Coal Mines Are too Few to Justify an Expensive Study on Health Hazards
The National Mining Association referenced to two studied when they announced the project cessation. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences conducted the first one that examined several studies of this sort. They concluded that such projects often failed to deliver solid conclusions on health hazards.
Secondly, the U.S. Energy Information Administration discovered that mountaintop mining represents less than 1% of national coal production. Therefore, the impact of a new mining site in the Appalachian Mountains might render no significant side effects to carry on a complex research operation.
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