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EPA Issues Guidance On Mountaintop Removal Mining

By Siobhan Hughes Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday issued guidance to limit damage from mountaintop removal mining, a practice that environmentalists have long sought to halt in West Virginia and other parts of Appalachia. Mountaintop removal mining involves blasting off mountaintops to get at the coal underneath. Environmentalists consider the practice to be the most abusive form of coal mining because it levels mountains and buries streams under rock and debris. The coal-mining industry says that the practice is cheaper and safer than traditional underground mining. The Appalachian region accounts for about a third of U.S. coal production, with 40% of that coming from mountaintop removal and other forms of surface mining. -By Siobhan Hughes, Dow Jones Newswires; 202-862-6654; siobhan.hughes@dowjones.com

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