"Identity of Who Ordered Halt on Mountain-Top Mining Study Still a Mystery"
"Washington, DC — A controversial decision to pull the plug on a federal study of the socio-economic impacts of coal strip mining has no identified author, according to documents obtained by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Nor were the reasons behind the action pinpointed, as key documents are still being withheld as “deliberative.”
In August 2017, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) ordered the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) to stop all work on a study of health risks for people living near surface mine sites in Central Appalachia pending an Interior-wide review of its grants and cooperative agreements.
In April 2018, PEER submitted a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for explanatory documents. OSM provided some material but withheld records revealing the who and why behind the suspension of the million-dollar NAS study into the harms faced by communities from mountain-top removal coal mining in Appalachia. The study was halted mid-way after more than half the available funding had been spent."