Interior Squelches Public Input on Reporting Coal Mining Violations

by | Jun 17, 2020

The Department of Interior opted not to extend the public comment period or hold a public hearing on changes to the process for reporting coal mining violations. Interior denied requests from two dozen non-governmental groups to extend public participation options on the change. Although presented as a simple “clarification” of coal-mining oversight, the proposed change would entirely revamp the reporting process for mining violations, requiring citizens to report to state instead of federal agencies, making such reports more complicated to file, and removing any sort of response deadline. Currently, federal regulators must respond to a report within 10 days. Status: Pending. Public comment period closed June 15, 2020.

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Amy Westervelt is the editor-in-chief of Drilled News, creator and host of the Drilled podcast, and founder of the Critical Frequency podcast network, named AdWeek's Podcast Network of the Year in 2019. An award-winning print and audio journalist, Amy has contributed to The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, as well as KQED, The California Report, Capital Public Radio, and many other outlets. She is the 2015 winner of the Rachel Carson award for "women greening journalism," and a 2016 winner of an Edward R. Murrow award for her series on the impacts of the Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada. In 2019, the Drilled podcast won the Online News Association's "Excellence in Audio Storytelling" award.

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Emily J. Gertz is senior editor of Drilled News. A longtime environmental reporter and editor, her work has appeared in HuffPost, Reveal, Arctic Today, The Guardian, Popular Science, Scientific American, Sierra, and more.