The Interior Department is stopping a two-year study on the health risks of mountaintop-removal coal mining for people who live nearby. The study was looking at the connection between mining waste and reported increases in heart and lung disease, cancer and birth defects. Some see an end run around industry regulation. Industry says there’s not enough of a definitive link to warrant a study. Health advocates say that’s the point of the study, to determine whether there’s a definitive link.
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