03-10-23 | News

US DOI Announces $135 Million to Revitalize Land on Abandoned Mines

Funds Part of the Abandoned Mine Land Economic Revitalization Program
by Staff

Funding through the AMLER program will be allocated to Kentucky, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Alabama, Ohio, and Virginia, along with the Crow Tribe, Hopi Tribe, and Navajo Tribe.

The Department of the Interior has announced that the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement is providing $135 million in funding for Abandoned Mine Land Economic Revitalization (AMLER) grants. The program was established in 2016 to fund projects that return legacy coal mining sites to productive uses through economic and community development. The AMLER grants will help address high priority abandoned mine land problems that pose immediate threats to health, safety, and welfare of communities, including clogged streams, dangerous piles or embankments, dangerous highwalls, underground mine fires and polluted water. The grants are available to the six Appalachian states with the highest number of unfunded high priority abandoned mine land problems and three Tribes with approved AML programs.


Laura Daniel-Davis, principal deputy assistant secretary for Land and Minerals, explained, "AMLER grants offer opportunities for economic revitalization, community development and the creation of good-paying jobs, while addressing long-standing hazards and environmental degradation in coal communities in America."

In fiscal year 2023, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and West Virginia will each receive $29.35 million, while Alabama, Ohio and Virginia will each receive $11.74 million, and the Crow Tribe, the Hopi Tribe, and the Navajo Nation will each receive $3.91 million. States and Tribes will work with local partners to identify projects that will bring the most environmental and economic benefits to their communities. The AMLER funds supplement nearly $725 million in fiscal year 2022 funding that has been made available to 22 states and the Navajo Nation to reclaim abandoned mine lands as part of Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).


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