The Department of the Interior (DOI) stopped a study on the health risks faced by people living near surface coal mines in Central Appalachia, The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) announced Monday.
The DOI placed a temporary freeze on the $1 million grant to the nonprofit organization for the study while the agency reviews all grants and agreements over $100,000, DOI spokeswoman Heather Swift told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
“The Trump Administration is dedicated to responsibly using taxpayer dollars and that includes the billions of dollars in grants that are doled out every year by the Department of the Interior,” Swift said in an email. “In order to ensure the Department is using tax dollars in a way that advances the Department’s mission and fulfills the roles mandated by Congress, … the $1,000,000 funding agreement was put on hold.”
The DOI is reviewing its funding obligations while it prepares for a new budget, the NASEM press release said.
NASEM will create a comprehensive report on the types of surface coal mines in the area and measure their effects on the air, water, and environment while determining the risks each mine poses to nearby communities, according to an NASEM summary of the study’s scope.
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