"WASHINGTON - The U.S. Interior Department has been unable to adequately explain why it canceled a $1 million study on the public health impacts of mountaintop removal coal mining, the agency's inspector general office said in a report released on Tuesday.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke canceled the government-funded study on the health impacts of the controversial mining technique used in Appalachia last August as part of what officials said was an agency-wide review of grants in excess of $100,000. The study was by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
Mountaintop removal is a form of surface mining in which explosives are used to extract coal from mountaintops and ridgelines. It has raised concern about impacts on rivers and streams, and on human health in surrounding communities."