Report text available as:

(PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip?



114th Congress    }                                     {       Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session      }                                     {      114-277

======================================================================



 
 SUPPORTING TRANSPARENT REGULATORY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIONS IN MINING 
                                  ACT

                                _______
                                

October 1, 2015.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

Mr. Bishop of Utah, from the Committee on Natural Resources, submitted 
                             the following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 1644]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 1644) to amend the Surface Mining Control and 
Reclamation Act of 1977 to ensure transparency in the 
development of environmental regulations, and for other 
purposes, having considered the same, report favorably thereon 
with an amendment and recommend that the bill as amended do 
pass.
    The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

   This Act may be cited as the ``Supporting Transparent Regulatory and 
Environmental Actions in Mining Act'' or the ``STREAM Act''.

SEC. 2. PUBLICATION OF SCIENTIFIC PRODUCTS FOR RULES AND RELATED 
                    ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENTS, ENVIRONMENTAL 
                    ASSESSMENTS, AND ECONOMIC ASSESSMENTS.

  (a) Requirement.--Title V of the Surface Mining Control and 
Reclamation Act of 1977 (30 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.) is amended by adding 
at the end the following:

``SEC. 530. PUBLICATION OF SCIENTIFIC PRODUCTS FOR RULES AND RELATED 
                    ENVIRONMENTAL ANALYSES, AND ECONOMIC ASSESSMENTS.

  ``(a) Requirement.--
          ``(1) In general.--The Secretary shall make publicly 
        available 90 days before the publication of any draft, 
        proposed, supplemental, final, or emergency rule under this 
        Act, or any related environmental analysis, economic 
        assessment, policy, or guidance, each scientific product the 
        Secretary relied on in developing the rule, environmental 
        analysis, economic assessment, policy, or guidance.
          ``(2) Federally funded scientific products.--For those 
        scientific products receiving Federal funds in part, or in 
        full, the Secretary shall also make publicly available the raw 
        data used for the federally funded scientific product.
  ``(b) Compliance.--
          ``(1) In general.--Failure to make publicly available any 
        scientific product 90 days before the publication of--
                  ``(A) any draft, proposed, or supplemental rule, 
                environmental analysis, economic assessment, policy or 
                guidance shall extend by one day the comment period for 
                each day such scientific product is not made available; 
                or
                  ``(B) any final or emergency rule shall delay the 
                effective date of the final or emergency rule by 60 
                days plus each day the scientific product is withheld.
          ``(2) Delay longer than 6 months.--If the Secretary fails to 
        make publicly available any scientific product for longer than 
        6 months, the Secretary shall withdraw the rule, environmental 
        analysis, economic assessment, policy, or guidance.
          ``(3) Exception.--This subsection shall not apply if a delay 
        in the publication of a rule will pose an imminent and severe 
        threat to human life.
  ``(c) Definitions.--In this section:
          ``(1) Publicly available.--The term `publicly available' 
        means published on the Internet via a publicly accessible 
        website under the Secretary's control.
          ``(2) Environmental analysis.--The term `environmental 
        analysis' means environmental impact statements and 
        environmental assessments prepared pursuant to the National 
        Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).
          ``(3) Scientific product.--The term `scientific product' 
        means any product that--
                  ``(A) employs the scientific method for inventorying, 
                monitoring, experimenting, studying, researching, or 
                modeling purposes; and
                  ``(B) is relied upon by the Secretary in the 
                development of any rule, environmental analysis, 
                economic assessment, policy, or guidance.
          ``(4) Raw data.--The term `raw data'--
                  ``(A) except as provided in subparagraph (B), means 
                any computational process, or quantitative or 
                qualitative data, that is relied on in a scientific 
                product to support a finding or observation; and
                  ``(B) does not include such data or processes--
                          ``(i) that are protected by copyright;
                          ``(ii) that contain personally identifiable 
                        information, sensitive intellectual property, 
                        trade secrets, or business-sensitive 
                        information; or
                          ``(iii) to the extent that such data and 
                        processes are covered by the provisions of part 
                        C of title XI of the Social Security Act (42 
                        U.S.C. 1320d et seq.), regulations promulgated 
                        pursuant to section 264(c) of the Health 
                        Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 
                        1996 (42 U.S.C. 1320d-2 note), and the 
                        provisions of subtitle D of title XIII of the 
                        Health Information Technology for Economic and 
                        Clinical Health Act (42 U.S.C. 17921 et 
                        seq.).''.
  (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of contents in the first section 
of such Act is amended by adding at the end of the items relating to 
such title the following:

``Sec. 530. Publication of scientific products for rules and related 
environmental analyses, and economic assessments.''.

SEC. 3. STUDY OF THE EFFECTIVENESS OF CERTAIN RULE.

  (a) Requirement.--Title VII of the Surface Mining Control and 
Reclamation Act of 1977 (30 U.S.C. 1291 et seq.) is amended by adding 
at the end the following:

``SEC. 722. STUDY OF THE EFFECTIVENESS OF CERTAIN RULE.

  ``(a) Study.--No later than 90 days after the date of the enactment 
of the STREAM Act, the Secretary of the Interior, in consultation with 
the Interstate Mining Compact Commission and its State members, shall 
enter into an arrangement with the National Academy of Sciences, for 
execution by the Board on Earth Sciences and Resources, to conduct a 
comprehensive study on the regulatory effectiveness of the `Surface 
Coal Mining and Reclamation Operations Permanent Regulatory Program; 
Stream Buffer Zones and Fish, Wildlife, and Related Environmental 
Values' Final Rule published June 30, 1983 (48 Fed. Reg. 30312), and 
amended September 30, 1983 (48 Fed. Reg. 44777), in protecting 
perennial and intermittent streams through the use of stream buffer 
zones. If the study determines the existence of regulatory 
inefficiencies, then the study shall include suggestions and 
recommendations for increasing the effectiveness of the rule.
  ``(b) Results of the Study.--Not later than 2 years after execution 
of the arrangements under subsection (a), the Board on Earth Sciences 
and Resources shall submit to the Committee on Natural Resources of the 
House of Representatives and the Committee on Energy and Natural 
Resources of the Senate, appropriate Federal agencies, and the Governor 
of each of the States represented on the Interstate Mining Compact 
Commission the results of the study conducted under subsection (a).
  ``(c) Funding.--There is authorized to be appropriated to the 
Secretary of the Interior $1,000,000 for fiscal year 2016 and 
$1,000,000 for fiscal year 2017 for the purposes of this section.
  ``(d) Prohibition on New Regulations.--The Secretary shall not issue 
any final or other regulations pertaining to the proposed rule entitled 
`Stream Protection Rule' (80 Fed. Reg. 44436) or relating to stream 
buffer zones, until one year after the Secretary has submitted the 
results of the study in accordance with subsection (b). If the 
Secretary proposes any such regulations after such submission, the 
Secretary shall take into consideration the findings of the study.''.
  (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of contents in the first section 
of such Act is amended by adding at the end of the items relating to 
such title the following:

``Sec. 720. Subsidence.
``Sec. 721. Research.
``Sec. 722. Study of the effectiveness of certain rule.''.

SEC. 4. COMPLIANCE WITH OTHER FEDERAL LAWS.

  Section 702 of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 
(30 U.S.C. 1291) is amended--
          (1) by redesignating subsections (c) and (d) as subsection 
        (d) and (e), respectively; and
          (2) by inserting after subsection (b) the following:
  ``(c) Compliance With Other Federal Laws.--Nothing in this Act 
authorizes the Secretary to take any action by rule, regulation, 
notice, policy, guidance, or order that duplicates, implements, 
interprets, enforces, or determines any action taken under an Act 
referred to in subsection (a) or any regulation or rule promulgated 
thereunder.''.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of H.R. 1644 is to amend the Surface Mining 
Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 to ensure transparency in 
the development of environmental regulations.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    H.R. 1644, the ``Supporting Transparent Regulatory and 
Environmental Actions in Mining Act'' or ``STREAM Act,'' seeks 
to improve overall transparency in the Office of Surface Mining 
Reclamation and Enforcement's (OSMRE) regulatory actions. 
Drafted partially in response to the OSMRE's ongoing rulemaking 
process governing the interaction between surface mining 
operations and streams--known as the Stream Buffer Zone rule 
(SBZ Rule)--the STREAM Act: 1) requires OSMRE to make publicly 
available all scientific products used in its regulatory 
actions; 2) calls for a study to investigate the regulatory 
efficiencies of the rule OSMRE seeks to amend; and 3) clarifies 
OSMRE's statutory boundaries.
    OSMRE's rewrite of the SBZ rule has been an ongoing process 
for over six years, costing taxpayers roughly $10 million. 
Consistently scrutinized by the public, an early draft of the 
rewrite, which was leaked to the Associated Press, indicated 
the rule would result in a loss of at least 7,000 jobs in 
Appalachia alone and drastically reduce coal production in 22 
states. Furthermore, investigations conducted by the Committee 
on Natural Resources revealed gross mismanagement of the 
rulemaking process, including the use of unqualified 
contractors. Accordingly, OSMRE restarted the rulemaking 
process, finally releasing a draft rule and corresponding 
environmental impact statement on July 27, 2015. Past 
legislative attempts to address this controversial rulemaking 
have experienced bipartisan support, with H.R. 3409 passing 
233-175 in the 112th Congress, and H.R. 2824 passing 229-192 in 
the 113th Congress.
    Throughout the rulemaking process, Director Pizarchik of 
the OSMRE has repeatedly premised the rulemaking on the 
availability of new science and technological advances. 
However, such ``new science'' is frequently unavailable to the 
public. For instance, the recently released rule relies on a 
2014 study, which was conducted by OSMRE in cooperation with 
the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This study, entitled 
``The Long-Term Impacts of Macroinvertebrates Downstream of 
Reclaimed Mountaintop Mining Valley Fills in Central 
Appalachia,'' is only available behind a paywall--despite being 
wholly funded by the federal government. This legislation would 
ensure the publication of all scientific products used by 
OSMRE, thereby providing stakeholders the opportunity to 
comment on the validity of such products. Such transparency 
will not only allow the public the opportunity to ensure the 
science being used is the ``best available,'' but will also 
promote stronger, more scientifically-sound rulemakings.
    Secondly, this legislation requires an independent study on 
the regulatory effectiveness of the currently in-place SBZ rule 
to be conducted by the National Academy of Sciences, in 
coordination with the Interstate Mining Compaction Commission 
and its member states. This will resolve two dominant issues 
currently plaguing the rewrite: 1) the lack of cooperation with 
the states; and 2) questions concerning the independence of the 
studies justifying the rulemaking. This year, 11 states 
withdrew as cooperating agencies from the rewrite's rulemaking 
process, citing an unwillingness by OSMRE to permit them to 
participate in the development of the rule, and a lack of 
communications since 2011. The independent study would provide 
the states a chance for substantive input, as well as an 
independent examination of the need for a regulatory update, 
while putting on hold OSMRE's controversial rulemaking.
    Finally, the STREAM Act restates the original intent of 
OSMRE's jurisdiction as envisioned by the Surface Mining 
Control and Reclamation Act (30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.). For 
foundational support of the rule, OSMRE cites a memorandum of 
understanding between the EPA, the U.S. Department of the Army, 
and the Department of the Interior. In part, the memorandum was 
premised on the authority of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 
1251 et seq.). OSMRE is an entity that exists to administer 
``programs for controlling surface coal mining operations and 
reclaiming abandoned mine lands'' and to ``insure compliance 
with [SMCRA]''. Nowhere in SMCRA is OSMRE granted authority to 
interpret the provisions of the Clean Water Act. This provision 
expressly precludes OSMRE from expanding its authority or 
statutory mandate beyond the duties prescribed by SMCRA.
    To ensure sensitive data will be protected, the STREAM Act 
includes provisions prohibiting the publication of raw data: 1) 
that would reveal information protected by copyright; 2) that 
contains personally identifiable information, sensitive 
intellectual property, trade secrets, or business-sensitive 
information; and 3) that would violate health privacy laws. 
Furthermore, the legislation ensures OSMRE can regulate 
efficiently during emergencies in which the imminent health of 
persons is threatened by providing exceptions to the 
enforcement mechanism that ensures OSMRE will publish 
scientific products.

                            Committee Action

    H.R. 1644 was introduced on March 26, 2015, by Congressman 
Alexander X. Mooney (R-WV). The bill was referred to the 
Committee on Natural Resources, and within the Committee to the 
Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources. On May 14, 2015, 
the Subcommittee held a hearing on the bill. On September 9, 
2015, the Natural Resources Committee met to consider the bill. 
The Subcommittee was discharged by unanimous consent. 
Congressman Mooney offered an amendment in the nature of a 
substitute (ANS). Congressman Alan S. Lowenthal (D-CA) offered 
an amendment designated 001 to the ANS. The Lowenthal amendment 
was not adopted by a bipartisan vote of 12-23, as follows:

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]

    No further amendments were offered and the amendment in the 
nature of a substitute was adopted by voice vote. On September 
10, 2015, the bill, as amended, was ordered favorably reported 
to the House of Representatives by a bipartisan roll call vote 
of 23 to 12, as follows:

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]

            Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations

    Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Natural Resources' oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.

                    Compliance With House Rule XIII

    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives requires an estimate and 
a comparison by the Committee of the costs which would be 
incurred in carrying out this bill. However, clause 3(d)(2)(B) 
of that rule provides that this requirement does not apply when 
the Committee has included in its report a timely submitted 
cost estimate of the bill prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974. Under clause 3(c)(3) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
403 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has 
received the following cost estimate for this bill from the 
Director of the Congressional Budget Office:

H.R. 1644--STREAM Act

    H.R. 1644 would authorize the appropriation of $1 million a 
year over the 2016-2017 period for the National Academy of 
Sciences (NAS) to study the effectiveness of an existing rule 
governing coal mining activities near streams. The bill also 
would prevent the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and 
Enforcement (OSMRE) from issuing any final rules related to 
such activities until one year after NAS completes the study.
    CBO estimates that implementing the bill would cost $2 
million over the 2016-2017 period, assuming appropriation of 
the authorized amounts for NAS to complete the study. In 
addition, CBO estimates that enacting the bill would increase 
net offsetting receipts, which are treated as reductions in 
direct spending, by roughly $1 million over the 2020-2023 
period; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. Enacting 
H.R. 1644 would not affect revenues.
    Under current law, OSMRE plans to fully implement a 
proposed rule governing coal mining activities near streams by 
2020. Based on information from the agency, CBO expects that if 
the proposed rule is implemented it will increase operating 
costs for the coal industry and reduce coal production. The 
rule will mainly affect coal mining activities in eastern 
states, which, in 2014, accounted for a very small portion of 
the gross receipts from coal production on federal lands.
    Based on information from OSMRE, CBO estimates that 
implementing the proposed rule also will reduce coal production 
on federal lands in western states by about two-tenths of a 
percent. Based on CBO's projection of federal royalties from 
the affected areas over the 2020-2025 period (roughly $650 
million a year), we estimate that implementing the proposed 
rule will reduce gross offsetting receipts from federal coal 
leases by $1.3 million a year over that period. Because the 
federal government distributes about half of those receipts to 
states, CBO estimates that under current law implementing the 
proposed rule will reduce net receipts by $650,000 a year over 
the 2020-2025 period.
    Under the bill, CBO expects that OSMRE would be prohibited 
from finalizing that proposed rule for at least three years 
after enactment of the bill (one year after the completion of 
the NAS study). Thus, the higher operating costs and reduced 
production that will result from implementing the rule would 
not occur until 2023. As result, CBO estimates that, over the 
2020-2023 period, net offsetting receipts from federal coal 
leases under the bill would be about $650,000 a year higher 
than those expected under current law. However, there is some 
probability that OSMRE may not finalize the proposed rule under 
current law. After accounting for the uncertainty regarding 
implementation of the proposed rule, CBO estimates that 
enacting the bill would increase net offsetting receipts, 
relative to current law, by $325,000 a year over the 2020-2023 
period, for a total savings of $1 million.
    H.R. 1644 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would not impose costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Jeff LaFave. The 
estimate was approved by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.
    2. Section 308(a) of Congressional Budget Act. As required 
by clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives and section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget 
Act of 1974, this bill does not contain any new budget 
authority, spending authority, credit authority, or an increase 
or decrease in revenues or tax expenditures. According to the 
Congressional Budget Office, implementation of the bill could 
cost $2 million, subject to appropriation, over the 2015-2016 
time period, to complete the National Academy of Sciences study 
and also generate $1 million in increased offsetting receipts 
compared to current law.
    3. General Performance Goals and Objectives. As required by 
clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII, the general performance goal or 
objective of this bill is to amend the Surface Mining Control 
and Reclamation Act of 1977 to ensure transparency in the 
development of environmental regulations.

                           Earmark Statement

    This bill does not contain any Congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined 
under clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of rule XXI of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives.

                    Compliance With Public Law 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                       Compliance With H. Res. 5

    Directed Rule Making. The Chairman does not believe that 
this bill directs any executive branch official to conduct any 
specific rule-making proceedings.
    Duplication of Existing Programs. This bill does not 
establish or reauthorize a program of the federal government 
known to be duplicative of another program. Such program was 
not included in any report from the Government Accountability 
Office to Congress pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139 
or identified in the most recent Catalog of Federal Domestic 
Assistance published pursuant to the Federal Program 
Information Act (Public Law 95-220, as amended by Public Law 
98-169) as relating to other programs.

                Preemption of State, Local or Tribal Law

    This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or 
tribal law.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, and existing law in which no 
change is proposed is shown in roman):

           SURFACE MINING CONTROL AND RECLAMATION ACT OF 1977

  Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
the United States of America in Congress assembled, That this 
Act may be cited as the ``Surface Mining Control and 
Reclamation Act of 1977''.

     * * * * * * *

  TITLE V--CONTROL OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF SURFACE COAL MINING

     * * * * * * *
Sec. 530. Publication of scientific products for rules and related 
          environmental analyses, and economic assessments.
     * * * * * * *

         TITLE VII--ADMINISTRATIVE AND MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

     * * * * * * *
Sec. 720. Subsidence.
Sec. 721. Research.
Sec. 722. Study of the effectiveness of certain rule.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


TITLE V--CONTROL OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF SURFACE COAL MINING

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



SEC. 530. PUBLICATION OF SCIENTIFIC PRODUCTS FOR RULES AND RELATED 
                    ENVIRONMENTAL ANALYSES, AND ECONOMIC ASSESSMENTS.

  (a) Requirement.--
          (1) In general.--The Secretary shall make publicly 
        available 90 days before the publication of any draft, 
        proposed, supplemental, final, or emergency rule under 
        this Act, or any related environmental analysis, 
        economic assessment, policy, or guidance, each 
        scientific product the Secretary relied on in 
        developing the rule, environmental analysis, economic 
        assessment, policy, or guidance.
          (2) Federally funded scientific products.--For those 
        scientific products receiving Federal funds in part, or 
        in full, the Secretary shall also make publicly 
        available the raw data used for the federally funded 
        scientific product.
  (b) Compliance.--
          (1) In general.--Failure to make publicly available 
        any scientific product 90 days before the publication 
        of--
                  (A) any draft, proposed, or supplemental 
                rule, environmental analysis, economic 
                assessment, policy or guidance shall extend by 
                one day the comment period for each day such 
                scientific product is not made available; or
                  (B) any final or emergency rule shall delay 
                the effective date of the final or emergency 
                rule by 60 days plus each day the scientific 
                product is withheld.
          (2) Delay longer than 6 months.--If the Secretary 
        fails to make publicly available any scientific product 
        for longer than 6 months, the Secretary shall withdraw 
        the rule, environmental analysis, economic assessment, 
        policy, or guidance.
          (3) Exception.--This subsection shall not apply if a 
        delay in the publication of a rule will pose an 
        imminent and severe threat to human life.
  (c) Definitions.--In this section:
          (1) Publicly available.--The term ``publicly 
        available'' means published on the Internet via a 
        publicly accessible website under the Secretary's 
        control.
          (2) Environmental analysis.--The term ``environmental 
        analysis'' means environmental impact statements and 
        environmental assessments prepared pursuant to the 
        National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 
        4321 et seq.).
          (3) Scientific product.--The term ``scientific 
        product'' means any product that--
                  (A) employs the scientific method for 
                inventorying, monitoring, experimenting, 
                studying, researching, or modeling purposes; 
                and
                  (B) is relied upon by the Secretary in the 
                development of any rule, environmental 
                analysis, economic assessment, policy, or 
                guidance.
          (4) Raw data.--The term ``raw data''--
                  (A) except as provided in subparagraph (B), 
                means any computational process, or 
                quantitative or qualitative data, that is 
                relied on in a scientific product to support a 
                finding or observation; and
                  (B) does not include such data or processes--
                          (i) that are protected by copyright;
                          (ii) that contain personally 
                        identifiable information, sensitive 
                        intellectual property, trade secrets, 
                        or business-sensitive information; or
                          (iii) to the extent that such data 
                        and processes are covered by the 
                        provisions of part C of title XI of the 
                        Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1320d et 
                        seq.), regulations promulgated pursuant 
                        to section 264(c) of the Health 
                        Insurance Portability and 
                        Accountability Act of 1996 (42 U.S.C. 
                        1320d-2 note), and the provisions of 
                        subtitle D of title XIII of the Health 
                        Information Technology for Economic and 
                        Clinical Health Act (42 U.S.C. 17921 et 
                        seq.).

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


TITLE VII--ADMINISTRATIVE AND MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



                           other federal laws

  Sec. 702. (a) Nothing in this Act shall be construed as 
superseding, amending, modifying, or repealing the Mining and 
Minerals Policy Act of 1970 (30 U.S.C. 21a), the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-47), or any of 
the following Acts or with any rule or regulation promulgated 
thereunder, including, but not limited to--
          (1) The Federal Metal and Nonmetallic Mine Safety Act 
        (30 U.S.C. 721-740).
          (2) The Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 
        1969 (83 Stat. 742).
          (3) The Federal Water Pollution Control Act (79 Stat. 
        903), as amended (33 U.S.C. 1151-1175), the State laws 
        enacted pursuant thereto, or other Federal laws 
        relating to preservation of water quality.
          (4) The Clean Air Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. 1857 et 
        seq.).
          (5) The Solid Waste Disposal Act (42 U.S.C. 3251-
        3259).
          (6) The Refuse Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. 407).
          (7) The Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act of 1934 
        (16 U.S.C. 661-666c).
          (8) The Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, as amended (30 
        U.S.C. 181 et seq.).
  (b) Nothing in this Act shall affect in any way the authority 
of the Secretary or the heads of other Federal agencies under 
other provisions of law to include in any lease, license, 
permit, contract, or other instrument such conditions as may be 
appropriate to regulate surface coal mining and reclamation 
operations on land under their jurisdiction.
  (c) Compliance With Other Federal Laws.--Nothing in this Act 
authorizes the Secretary to take any action by rule, 
regulation, notice, policy, guidance, or order that duplicates, 
implements, interprets, enforces, or determines any action 
taken under an Act referred to in subsection (a) or any 
regulation or rule promulgated thereunder.
  [(c)] (d) To the greatest extent practicable each Federal 
agency shall cooperate with the Secretary and the States in 
carrying out the provisions of this Act.
  [(d)] (e) Approval of the State programs, pursuant to section 
503(b), promulgation of Federal programs, pursuant to section 
504, and implementation of the Federal lands programs, pursuant 
to section 523 of this Act, shall not constitute a major action 
within the meaning of section 102(2)(C) of the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332). Adoption of 
regulations under section 501(b) shall constitute a major 
action within the meaning of section 102(2)(C) of the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332).

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 722. STUDY OF THE EFFECTIVENESS OF CERTAIN RULE.

  (a) Study.--No later than 90 days after the date of the 
enactment of the STREAM Act, the Secretary of the Interior, in 
consultation with the Interstate Mining Compact Commission and 
its State members, shall enter into an arrangement with the 
National Academy of Sciences, for execution by the Board on 
Earth Sciences and Resources, to conduct a comprehensive study 
on the regulatory effectiveness of the ``Surface Coal Mining 
and Reclamation Operations Permanent Regulatory Program; Stream 
Buffer Zones and Fish, Wildlife, and Related Environmental 
Values'' Final Rule published June 30, 1983 (48 Fed. Reg. 
30312), and amended September 30, 1983 (48 Fed. Reg. 44777), in 
protecting perennial and intermittent streams through the use 
of stream buffer zones. If the study determines the existence 
of regulatory inefficiencies, then the study shall include 
suggestions and recommendations for increasing the 
effectiveness of the rule.
  (b) Results of the Study.--Not later than 2 years after 
execution of the arrangements under subsection (a), the Board 
on Earth Sciences and Resources shall submit to the Committee 
on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives and the 
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate, 
appropriate Federal agencies, and the Governor of each of the 
States represented on the Interstate Mining Compact Commission 
the results of the study conducted under subsection (a).
  (c) Funding.--There is authorized to be appropriated to the 
Secretary of the Interior $1,000,000 for fiscal year 2016 and 
$1,000,000 for fiscal year 2017 for the purposes of this 
section.
  (d) Prohibition on New Regulations.--The Secretary shall not 
issue any final or other regulations pertaining to the proposed 
rule entitled ``Stream Protection Rule'' (80 Fed. Reg. 44436) 
or relating to stream buffer zones, until one year after the 
Secretary has submitted the results of the study in accordance 
with subsection (b). If the Secretary proposes any such 
regulations after such submission, the Secretary shall take 
into consideration the findings of the study.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                            DISSENTING VIEWS

   H.R. 1644: ``SUPPORTING TRANSPARENT REGULATORY AND ENVIRONMENTAL 
                    ACTIONS IN MINING (STREAM) ACT''

    We oppose H.R. 1644 because it would do nothing except 
delay the protection of Appalachian communities from the 
destructive effects of mountaintop removal mining, and is 
simply the next salvo in a 5-year-long political attack the 
Majority has been waging on the Stream Protection Rule, a rule 
that was just released in July 2015 and has not been the 
subject of any committee hearings since then.
    This bill is an unwarranted ambush on an ongoing rulemaking 
process, an uncharacteristic attack by the Majority on the 
principle of federalism and states' rights, and an 
unconscionable assault on the health of the residents of 
Appalachian communities suffering from the devastating impacts 
of mountaintop removal mining.
    As documented by a 2005 Environmental Impact Statement, 
nearly 2,000 miles of streams were buried or degraded by 
mountaintop removal mining from 1985 through 2002. Mountaintop 
removal mining destroys wildlife habitat, contaminates surface 
and drinking water, leads to flooding, and as an increasing 
number of studies show, raises the rates of cancer, birth 
defects, lung disease, and heart disease in people who live 
nearby.
    The Majority has attempted to manufacture doubt behind the 
science of health impacts from mountaintop removal mining by 
raising the standards for data disclosure in Section 2 of H.R. 
1644. These actions are unfounded and unnecessary, and create 
an unfair standard for science that is used to inform decisions 
on coal mining as opposed to other regulatory issues. The 
requirements established by this bill serve only to distract 
from the reality that people are suffering, and to further 
delay OSM from carrying out its statutory duty to protect 
people and the environment from the negative impacts from coal 
mining.
    The Majority has turned a blind eye to the destructive 
environmental and health impacts of mountaintop removal mining, 
however, and instead focused on attacking the rulemaking 
process every step of the way. They conducted a multi-year 
investigation into the drafting of the Stream Protection Rule, 
holding three oversight hearings with the Director of the 
Office of Surface Mining (OSM), issuing two subpoenas, 
receiving over 13,500 pages of documents and 25 hours of audio 
recordings. However, this witch hunt uncovered no misconduct on 
the part of the Department of the Interior (DOI) or the Office 
of Surface Mining--a conclusion also reached by the DOT Office 
of Inspector General in a report released in December 2013. 
However, the investigation did succeed in delaying the 
Department from issuing the proposed rule and wasting taxpayer 
money; the Department reported that in 2013, responding to all 
the document requests from the Majority took over 19,000 staff 
hours at a cost of nearly $1.5 million.
    The complaints from the Majority are also inconsistent with 
their actions and this bill. While they protest that the 
Administration has been too secretive about the rule and is 
hiding data, they have also sent a letter requesting four extra 
months to comment on the proposed Stream Protection Rule 
because the Administration has put out over 2,500 pages of 
information on it. While they say that this rulemaking has 
taken far too long, Section 3 of H.R. 1644 would add an 
additional three years and millions of dollars to that process. 
During that time, streams will continue to get buried, habitat 
will continue being destroyed, threatened and endangered 
species will continue being harmed, and communities throughout 
the region will continue to suffer from degraded water quality, 
flooding, and health impacts.
    During markup up on H.R. 1644, the Majority rejected an 
amendment by Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee Ranking 
Member Lowenthal that would have allowed the Secretary of the 
Interior to take into account the growing body of peer-reviewed 
scientific evidence that mountaintop removal mining is harmful 
to the health of people living in nearby communities.
    For these reasons, we strongly oppose H.R. 1644, a bill 
that would prohibit the Administration from implementing 
thoughtful protections for the environment and communities from 
the impacts of mountaintop removal mining.
                                   Raul M. Grijalva.
                                   Jared Huffman.
                                   Don Beyer.
                                   Alan Lowenthal.
                                   Grace Napolitano.

                                  [all]