EPA to Withdraw Clean Water Act Restrictions for Pebble Mine

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to withdraw its July 2014 Clean Water Act Proposed Determination that would, if finalized, have imposed restrictions on the discharge of dredged or fill material associated with the potential Pebble mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed. The EPA is seeking public comment on whether to withdraw the proposed determination.

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CONSOL Files Plans to Spin Off Coal Business

This week CONSOL Energy filed the necessary paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to split the company into two publicly traded companies, a coal company and a natural gas exploration and production (E&P) company. The spin-off would provide current shareholders ownership in two companies, each positioned to capitalize on distinct opportunities for future growth and profitability, the company said.


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Indian Utility Invests in Coal-fired Power

India’s state-run National Thermal Power Corp. (NTPC) plans to invest $10 billion in new coal-fired power stations over the next five years. During the first phase, according to Reuters, India’s biggest power producer plans to build three new plants with a combined capacity of more than 5 gigawatts (GW), nearly double the capacity of the coal-fired power plants currently being phased out. More than 300 million of India’s 1.3 billion people still do not have access to electricity.



Roof Fall Accidents Decline, Remain Leading Cause of Injuries

Improvements in roof control technology in underground coal mines have significantly reduced accidents involving roof and rib falls or coal bursts, but such accidents remain a leading cause of injuries, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reported. Since 2013, roof and rib falls or coal bursts led to the deaths of five continuous mining machine operators, and injured 83 other operators.

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EPA, US Army Move to Rescind Clean Water Rule

On June 27, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Army, and Army Corps of Engineers announced they were proposing a rule to rescind the Clean Water Rule and re-codify the regulatory text that existed prior to the 2015 defining of the “waters of the United States” or WOTUS. This action will provide certainty in the interim, pending a second rulemaking in which the agencies will engage in a substantive re-evaluation of the definition of WOTUS.

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