Interior Provides Over $291 Million In Conservation Funding For States And Tribes To Clean Up And Repurpose Abandoned Coal Mines

by Reporter / Mar 22, 2019 / 0 comments

Interior Provides Over $291 Million In Conservation Funding For States And Tribes To Clean Up And Repurpose Abandoned Coal Mines

WASHINGTON, D.C. ― U.S. Acting Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt today announced the availability of the Fiscal Year 2019Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Reclamation grants through the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE).

This year’s grants will provide more than $291.2 million [1] for states and tribes to reclaim and repurpose abandoned coal lands.

“These grants are a great example of Interior partnering with states, Tribes, and local governments to provide resources for conservation efforts and infrastructure and public safety improvements, like fixing embankments, stabilizing land above underground mines, and restoring streams,” Acting Secretary Bernhardt said. “The investment we’re making back into coal country helps protect people, land, water and property, and enhances the lives of local citizens.”

AML grants, funded in part by a fee based on coal produced in the United States, help to eliminate dangerous conditions and pollution caused by past coal mining. AML-funded projects have closed dangerous mine shafts, eliminated highwalls, reclaimed unstable slopes, treated acid mine drainage, and restored water supplies damaged by mining.

OSMRE provides AML grants to the 25 coal-producing states and three tribes according to a congressionally mandated formula based on their past and current coal production. Each year, after the distribution is announced, eligible states and tribes apply for annual reclamation grants to access money in their allocations. OSMRE evaluates and verifies the requests, and makes the award amounts available.

The authority to collect AML reclamation fees is slated to expire in September 2021, unless Congress reauthorizes the fee, as it did in 2006.

The FY 2019 AML Reclamation funding available to states and tribes is as follows:

  

State / Tribe

Amount Allocated

Alabama

$5,139,869

Alaska

$2,814,000

Arkansas

$2,814,000

Colorado

$3,117,101

Illinois

$18,678,495

Indiana

$8,072,975

Iowa

$2,814,000

Kansas

$2,814,000

Kentucky

$18,296,295

Louisiana

$177,816

Maryland

$2,814,000

Mississippi

$102,445

Missouri

$2,814,000

Montana

$7,747,222

New Mexico

$2,814,000

North Dakota

$2,814,000

Ohio

$10,285,761

Oklahoma

$2,814,000

Pennsylvania

$53,846,935

Tennessee

$2,814,000

Texas

$2,515,463

Utah

$1,362,163

Virginia

$5,607,813

West Virginia

$35,754,311

Wyoming

$87,833,889

Crow Tribe

$1,211,505

Hopi Tribe

$588,522

Navajo Nation

$2,817,230

National Total

$291,295,810

 

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