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State To Receive $140 Million In Federal Funds For Mine Cleanup

looney ridge surface coal mine
Brittany Patterson
/
Ohio Valley ReSource

West Virginia will get more than $140 million for mine reclamation from the bipartisan infrastructure law Congress passed last year.

The funding will help eliminate a backlog of tens of thousands of mines abandoned before 1977.

It supplements a per-ton tax on coal that supports the Abandoned Mine Land Trust Fund.

Only Pennsylvania will receive a bigger share of the total funding than West Virginia.

Nationwide, $725 million a year will be available for states and tribes for the next 15 years.

The funding will create jobs in coalfield communities and improve the environment, according to the U.S Department of the Interior. It can support projects to eliminate methane emissions from mine sites, close dangerous mine shafts and treat acid mine drainage.

The department will release guidance on applying for the funds in the coming weeks.

Energy & Environment Reporter, ctate@wvpublic.org, 202-679-8470, @tatecurtis

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