Tenn. agencies petition federal government in mining rules

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) -- Four conservation groups and two Tennessee state agencies plan to file a petition Tuesday asking the federal government to re-examine how it applies the Endangered Species Act to strip mining.

The petitioners say the current regulations are putting sensitive watersheds in Virginia and Tennessee at risk.

Strip mining and mountaintop removal are the best-known forms of surface mining, in which vegetation, soil and rock overlying the mineral deposits are scraped away.

The Southern Environmental Law Center and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency are petitioning on behalf of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, the World Wildlife Fund, the Center for Biological Diversity and the National Parks Conservation Association.

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Information from: The Roanoke Times, http://www.roanoketimes.com

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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