Congress OKs repeal of Obama rule that prevents coal mining debris from being dumped in streams

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican-controlled Congress on Thursday approved a measure to scuttle an Obama-era regulation that prevents coal mining debris from being dumped into nearby streams.

Republicans say the rule is a job killer and is poorly crafted. The measure was approved in the House on a 228-194 vote and in the Senate on a 54-45 vote.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said the stream-protection rule ignores dozens of federal, state and local regulations already in place.

The Interior Department said in announcing the rule in December that it would protect 6,000 miles of streams and 52,000 acres of forests, preventing coal mining debris from being dumped into nearby waters.

Interior officials said the rule would cause only modest job losses in coal country and could even create jobs as companies hire construction crews to haul and store debris.

The repeal measure now goes to President Donald Trump, who is expected to sign it.