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Watt takes issue with US rules on strip mining

Interior Secretary James Watt wants to change government regulations requiring that strip-mined land be restored to its original contour. In an interview in Monday's Washington Post, Mr. Watt indicated the rules may soon be changed to allow rough terrain that can be used for farming or construction. He also said the government should not acquire any more national park land "until we learn to handle what we have."

Federal rules now require stripmined land to be restored to close to its original condition. But Mr. Watt said mining state governors have convinced him the Office of Surface M ining has "gone way overboard" in telling states what to do.

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