Interior Provides More Than $170 Million in Conservation Funding for States and Tribes to Clean Up and Repurpose Abandoned Coal Mines

U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt recently announced the availability of the Fiscal Year 2021 Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Reclamation grants through the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE).

This year’s grants will provide more than $170.9 million for states and tribes to reclaim and repurpose abandoned coal lands. “AML grants provide states, tribes and local partners with important resources to reclaim lands and waters impacted by abandoned mines, restoring the promise of the outdoors for hardworking Americans in coal country,” said Secretary Bernhardt. “OSMRE is proud to announce today the 2020 AML grants availability.”

OSMRE provides AML grants to the 25 coal-producing states and three tribes based on a congressionally mandated formula that evaluates past and current coal production by these entities. 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.

Among the states with the largest allocations are Wyoming ($35.8 million); Pennsylvania ($32.17 million); West Virginia ($ 22.86 million); Illinois ($11.6 million) and Kentucky ($11.3 million. The 2020 AML grants are significantly less than the $291 million provided by the Federal government. In 2019 Pennsylvania received $58.85 million to reclaim abandoned sites around the Commonwealth.

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