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W.Va. Senate shuns EPA selenium standard

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CHARLESTON, WV (AP) — Both chambers of the West Virginia legislature have passed a bill that would create a new, likely more lenient standard for regulating selenium discharges into waterways from coal mines.

The bill passed unanimously by the Senate Friday calls for a state specific selenium standard, rather than the federal standard published by the Environmental Protection Agency. If coal mines are found to have exceeded guidelines the bill would trigger additional monitoring instead of punishment.

The coal industry argues that the federal standard is not applicable to West Virginia's fast-flowing streams.

Studies have found selenium harmful to aquatic life, and to humans with high-level exposure.

 

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press