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W.Va. hosting congressional mining rule hearing

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A congressional panel holds a hearing today on a draft environmental rule that would tighten oversight of coal mining.

The Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources is holding today's hearing in Charleston, West Virginia, on a proposed stream buffer zone rule.

The rule aims to keep coal-mining debris away from mountain streams. Coal-industry supporters say this and other Obama administration proposals threaten jobs and the economy, while environmentalists say such dumping harms water quality and animal habitats.

Officials with Ohio and West Virginia coal associations are among those set to speak, as well as environmental advocates and others.

The federal Office of Surface Mining has been trying to rewrite the regulation after the Bush administration scrapped a 100-foot buffer zone standard.