The Obama administration finalized a rule on Monday that strengthens protections for rivers, streams, and forests near coal mining facilities —
the first update to the Interior Department regulations in 33 years. The tougher guidelines require companies to avoid mining practices that could pollute streams and drinking water sources, as well as restore waterways and landscapes to their original state once mining is complete, according to Reuters. The Interior Department said the updated Stream Protection Rule would safeguard 6,000 miles of waterway and 52,000 acres of forest over the next two decades. It is likely to be one of the Obama administration’s last major environmental actions before leaving office, and one of President-elect Donald Trump’s earliest targets after inauguration. Trump has pledged to rebuild the U.S. coal industry, saying on the campaign trail that he would repeal any update to the stream protection rule if elected.