Hoeven: Administration's Stream Buffer Rule Doesn't Work for North Dakota

Senator Will Work to Stop Final Rule Through CRA

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Energy Committee, today released the following statement in response to the Administration’s final Stream Buffer Rule, which fails to account for differences in mining practices across the United States.

“The Administration’s Stream Buffer Rule clearly won’t work in North Dakota,” said Hoeven. “Instead of working with states to allow flexibility based on the different mining practices used across the country, the Administration has continued its one-size-fits all approach to the stream buffer rule. This will result in burdensome costs and job losses without any environmental benefits in states like North Dakota. We’ll work with the new Administration and through the Congressional Review Act to stop the final rule.”

Like the proposed rule, the final rule is based primarily on mining practices used in the Appalachian region and does not properly take into account differences in mining techniques, land reclamation and geography throughout the country, such as the surface mining performed in North Dakota.

Hoeven Efforts to Address the Stream Buffer Rule
• Earlier this year, Hoeven brought Janice Schneider, Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management at the Interior Department, to North Dakota to show her firsthand the impact of the proposed Stream Buffer rule, which threatens thousands of jobs in 22 states, and to press for a states-first approach to the rule.
• The 2016 Interior Appropriations bill directs the Office of Surface Mining to work with states to ensure that water quality is protected while not adversely impacting jobs and the economy.
• The senator cosponsored bipartisan legislation to require the Secretary of the Interior to make publically available all scientific products and data relied on used to draft the new Stream Buffer Zone rule, or face delay and eventual withdrawal of the rule. The bill also prohibits the Interior Secretary from issuing a rule or determinations that needlessly duplicate or overlap with current environmental laws, such as the Clean Water Act, under the jurisdiction of other agencies and prevent duplicate regulations between federal agencies.