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Department of Interior official: No ‘specific’ reason mountaintop removal study halted


Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — There’s no apparent reason why a study on the health effects of mountaintop removal was halted last year, according to the Department of the Interior’s deputy inspector general.

The study, “Potential Human Health Effects of Surface Coal Mining Operations in Central Appalachia,” would have looked at the health effects on residents who live near mountaintop removal coal-mining sites. The Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining had committed $1 million to the study, but put it on hold after the office said it was reviewing grants and agreements that cost more than $100,000.

Without orders from the OSM, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, which was in charge of the study, released its 11-member committee earlier this year.

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