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Interior halts study on health risks of mountaintop coal mining

Jeff Gentner / AP

The Interior Department has ordered the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to stop working on a study focused on the health risks of living near mountaintop coal mining sites in Central Appalachia. The National Academies made the announcement in a statement, and said it "believes this is an important study."

The reasoning: The department began reviewing grants and cooperative partnerships that exceeded $100,000 in April. Heather Swift, the press secretary for the Interior, told Axios that "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."

The original request for the study came from the state of West Virginia in 2015.

This was updated to reflect the press secretary's statement.