The Environmental Protection Agency on April 1 announced new rules on mountaintop removal mining, as well as new efficiency standards for water heaters.
Rules on mountaintop removal mining, a contentious issue in the Appalachians, would institute materials removal standards to prevent damage to watersheds.
EPA estimates that up to 2,000 miles of Appalachian headwater streams have been buried by rubble from the mountaintop mining operations.
The effort will include a Web-based clearinghouse to review mining permits under review, reports the New York Times.
In other news, EPA is issuing new efficiency standards for water heaters.
EPA projects that the standards should save $10 billion in energy over 30 years, reports the New York Times.
The new rules are likely to spur manufacturers toward heat pump electric water heaters and condensing gas water heaters, and would raise the cost of the appliances by about $120.
EPA estimates consumers would save $143 in energy costs over the life of the water heater.