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Wed Jun 13, 2018, 01:35 PM

U.S. Interior Department axed health study on coal without clear reason: watchdog

Last edited Wed Jun 13, 2018, 02:14 PM - Edit history (1)

David Fahrenthold Retweeted:

Inspector General: Interior axed study on health of Appalachians living near mountaintop removal coal mining because "costs would exceed the benefits."

Stopped after nearly half of $1.0 million had already been "wasted," IG says h/t: @ValerieVolco



HEALTH NEWS JUNE 12, 2018 / 6:50 PM / UPDATED 19 HOURS AGO

U.S. Interior Department axed health study on coal without clear reason: watchdog
Valerie Volcovici 3 MIN READ

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Interior Department has been unable to adequately explain why it canceled a $1 million study on the public health impacts of mountaintop removal coal mining, the agency’s inspector general office said in a report released on Tuesday.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke canceled the government-funded study on the health impacts of the controversial mining technique used in Appalachia last August as part of what officials said was an agency-wide review of grants in excess of $100,000. The study was by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
....

When the Interior Department was asked by the inspector general to detail the reasons for its decision to cancel the study, it could not produce any evidence of a formal review, the watchdog said in its report. ... “Departmental officials were unable to provide specific criteria used for their determination whether to allow or cease certain grants and cooperative agreements,” the report said. It added the cancellation “wasted” some $455,110 that had already been spent on research and that the remaining $548,443 would be returned to the Treasury in 2021.
....

The Obama administration had launched the study shortly before leaving office.
....

Reporting by Valerie Volcovici in Washington; Editing by Matthew Lewis

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