Nevada’s gold-mining industry is eagerly awaiting the Bush administration’s expected decision to scrap Clinton-era rules designed to reduce the environmental impact of mining on public lands. One of the rules gives the federal government the right to block mining that is likely to cause “substantial irreparable harm” to public lands. The mining industry and enviros also expect the administration to stop imposing a strict limit on how much public land can be used for dumping by mining operations. The No. 2 official at the U.S. Interior Department, J. Steven Griles, is a former lobbyist for the mining industry.

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