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Millions In AMLER Funds Coming To Transform Coal Communities

Rail Trail.jpg
Curtis Tate
/
West Virginia Public Broadcasting
The Elk River Rail Trail in central West Virginia will be completed with the help of an AMLER grant.

West Virginia will receive $26.6 million in funds from the federal Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement.

That’s for the Abandoned Mine Land Economic Revitalization program. Pennsylvania and Kentucky will receive similar amounts. Ohio, Virginia and Alabama will receive $10.6 million each, and three tribal governments will receive $3.5 million each.

The AMLER program was created in 2016 and has helped repurpose abandoned mine lands and create recreational opportunities for affected communities.

For example, an AMLER grant is helping to close a gap in the Elk River Trail, a new state park built on an abandoned coal-hauling railroad in central West Virginia.

Other AMLER recipients have started new businesses or built solar farms at or near mine sites.

The grants are in addition to the $140 million in Abandoned Mine Land funds for West Virginia from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021.

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

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