BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Trump administration is seeking to fast-track mining permits and offer grants and loans to help companies pay for mining equipment as part of its ongoing effort to boost the industry.

Administration officials on Thursday offered details on a plan that critics said could spoil waterways with mining pollution.

With the election just over a month away, President Donald Trump signed an order late Wednesday declaring a national emergency over the country’s reliance on imported minerals.

How effective the order will be is uncertain. Mines typically need approvals from state regulators, too.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico blasted the order as a wasteful subsidy for an industry with a long history of abandoning polluted sites.

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