Methane emissions from coal mines escaped being curbed by the Environmental Protection Agency, which said mandatory U.S. budget cuts didn’t leave it with the resources to determine if the pollution is a significant risk.
The EPA rejected a petition from environmental groups, which three years ago asked the agency to limit the greenhouse gases released from the mines.
“The agency must prioritize its regulatory actions. This is especially the case in light of limited resources and ongoing budget uncertainties,” acting EPA Administrator Bob Perciasepe wrote in a letter to Edward Zukoski, a lawyer for the environmental group Earthjustice. “In the future, the EPA may initiate the process for such a determination, but the agency has decided that it will not do so now.”