Saturday, March 25, 2023


Georgia prepares for the end of COVID-19 emergency; comment period open for experimental nuclear tech in eastern ID; Mexican gray wolf population rebounds in Arizona.


Lawmakers grill the CEO of Tik Tok over national security concerns, the House Pro-Choice Caucus aims to repeal the Helms Act and allow U.S. foreign aid to support abortion care, and attempts to ban or restrict books hit a record high as groups take aim at LBGTQ+ titles.


Finding childcare is a struggle everywhere, prompting North Carolina's Transylvania County to try a new approach. Maine is slowly building-out broadband access, but disagreements remain over whether local versus national companies should get the contracts, and specialty apps like "Farmers Dating" help those in small communities connect online.

Stream-Protection Rule Flows into Legal Battle


Wednesday, January 25, 2017   

FRANKFORT, Ky. – A coalition of community and conservation groups is fighting back against attempts by state officials in Kentucky and 13 other coal-producing states to stop enforcement of the Stream Protection Rule, which was finalized last month by the Interior Department.

The states want the United States District Court in Washington, D.C., to block enforcement. Kentucky's Energy and Environment Secretary, Charles Snavely, claims the Stream Protection Rule is "not environmentally needed, conflicts with existing protections" and would do "great harm" to the coal industry.

Thom Kay, senior legislative representative for Appalachian Voices, one of the groups seeking to intervene in the case, disagrees.

"I think it is absurd to say that there's no need for more protections from surface-mining pollution, and Kentucky is actually one of the best examples of the water pollution that we've seen from surface mining over the years," he said. "The protections are completely inadequate, and the enforcement is equally inadequate."

The rule is intended to protect clean water and other natural resources through stronger regulations on surface mining. According to Appalachian Voices, mountaintop-removal mining has been responsible for destroying an estimated 2,000 miles of streams in Appalachia and is linked to a variety of health problems.

Letcher County resident Tarence Ray is one of the volunteers who collects water-quality data on rivers and streams for the state's Water Watch program. Ray says he still sees pollution from strip mines.

"Last week, I was at a stream that was completely orange," he said. "You couldn't see the bottom of the stream. It was a lot of iron oxide and stuff, and this was right at the spot where it was flowing into the North Fork of the Kentucky River."

The Stream Protection Rule expands baseline data requirements during the permitting process for a new mining operation, and it also strengthens monitoring during mining and reclamation. While the state has characterized the new regulation as "unreasonable and unjustifiable restrictions," Ray believes otherwise.

"I think that's a very reasonable price to pay to make sure that we're sort of covering all of our bases and that people are staying safe and healthy," Ray added.

get more stories like this via email

Nevada is the only state with what is known as a summary eviction process. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The Nevada Housing Justice Alliance, tenants, lawmakers and community leaders gathered at a news conference outside the Capitol in Carson City this …

Social Issues

Family caregivers provide valuable work to Washington state - even if they don't get paid. A new report puts a value to the unpaid work they do…

Social Issues

Advocates for Michigan's LGBTQ community are calling lawmakers' move to expand the state's civil rights law to include them a victory that's "been a l…

Illinois advocacy groups say they are educating policymakers on the benefits of hospital screening as a solution to prevent medical debt, both for low-income patients and the hospital. (volgariver/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

A new report finds thousands of low-income or uninsured people in Illinois face medical debt that is depleting their savings and, in some cases…

Health and Wellness

The Iowa Senate has approved a measure allowing some medical facilities to be licensed as "emergency hospitals." This would be especially important in…

The Idaho National Laboratory is located near Idaho Falls. (MichaelVi/Adobe Stock)


The U.S. Department of Energy has opened a short public-comment window on an experimental nuclear technology in Idaho. The agency has released a …

Social Issues

School nutrition providers told Ohio lawmakers this week they're tired of hounding parents for school lunch money when their child's account accrues d…

Health and Wellness

A Georgia health advocacy group is concerned about people's health outcomes as the COVID-19 public health emergency is set to expire on May 11…


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021