Stream Protection Rule

The Environmental & Energy Law Program is tracking the environmental regulatory rollbacks of the Trump administration. Click here for the list of rules we are following

Why it Matters

This rule was developed “in order to avoid or minimize impacts on surface water, groundwater, fish, wildlife, and other natural resources” from coal mining. In particular, it was designed to prevent mountain-top mining operations – where the top of a mountain is blown off with dynamite to reach underground coal seams – from dumping the mountain rubble in nearby valleys and waterways.

Current Status

The rule has been repealed.


On December 20, 2016 The Department of the Interior (DOI) published the Stream Protection Rule.

Trump Era

On February 1, 2017 the House of Representatives passed a resolution to repeal the rule under the Congressional Review Act.

On February 2, 2017 the Senate passed a resolution to repeal the rule under the CRA.

On February 16, 2017 President Trump signed HJ Res. 38 into law, disapproving the Stream Protection Rule. Under the Congressional Review Act, DOI may not promulgate a rule that is “substantially the same.”

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