The Nation

State inspectors charged with enforcing the federal strip-mining law are missing or ignoring many violations of the environmental protection statute, according to a congressional study. The allegation by the General Accounting Office, the investigative wing of Congress, was based on visits last year to strip mines by GAO personnel and inspectors from the federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. The congressional agency said the teams visited 82 mines in Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia shortly after state officials had carried out inspections mandated by the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977. "State inspectors did not cite 78 of the 129 total violations GAO and federal inspectors observed," the report said.

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