The Environmental Protection Agency soon will issue new guidance to regulators responsible for issuing permits for surface mining, says Nancy Stoner, EPA acting assistant administrator for water.

Stoner told a House subcommittee on May 11 that the Office of Management and Budget is reviewing the new guidance, which will take note of input from EPA’s Science Advisory Board and replace April 2010 interim guidance.

GOP members of the subcommittee said the environmental requirements of the interim guidance make it nearly impossible to get a coal mining permit and are costing jobs in Appalachia. Stoner said the guidance is not binding and simply gives regulators a framework to uphold environmental laws.