The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) today announced the availability of the Fiscal Year 2015 Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Reclamation fund grants, which will provide more than $226 million to states and tribes to reclaim abandoned coal mines. States within the AMJV who will recieve a portion of this funding include Alabama, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennyslvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
The AML grants are funded in part by a fee collected on all coal produced in the United States, and enable 28 eligible states and tribes to help eliminate dangerous conditions and pollution caused by past coal mining.
“Reclaiming the land from largely unregulated coal mining from the past is part of OSMRE’s mission,” said OSMRE Director Joe Pizarchik. “While these grants will fund critical reclamation projects, generate well-paying jobs, and help to restore communities, it represents just a small fraction of the work that remains. We have many years of work ahead before mine reclamation is complete.”
In the 37 years since Congress enacted the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA), OSMRE has provided more than $8 billion to states and tribes to reclaim more than 380,000 acres of high-priority hazardous abandoned mine sites.
Past AML-funded projects include closing dangerous mine shafts, reclaiming unstable slopes, improving water quality by treating acid mine drainage, and restoring water supplies damaged by mining.
The OSMRE provides AML grants to 28 coal-producing states and tribes according to statutory formulas based on past and current coal production. By the end of September 2015, states and tribes will apply for reclamation grants and OSMRE will make the respective award amounts available for approved applications.
News release by the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement.