By Ben Geman - 04/02/10 03:54 PM EDT
But Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) said he was hopeful that the new requirements would provide more clarity to EPA’s permitting policies.
"Today's announcement will hopefully now have everyone reading off the same page," Byrd said in a prepared statement Thursday.
"I, along with other elected officials, coal operators, the mining community, and environmentalists from West Virginia have been asking for a clearer, concise policy on moving forward with mountaintop mining permits and water quality issues," he added. "I am pleased that EPA Administrator Jackson took our concerns about the need to provide clarity very seriously and has responded with these guidelines."