West Virginia Granted $44 Million in Federal Funds To Repair Impacts of Coal Production
West Virginia will receive $43.9 million this year through various Abandoned Mine Land programs. The federal monies are funded in part from a fee on current coal production, and are intended to clean up mining activity and help with economic development projects.
The funds are part of two ongoing federal programs. The state will receive $18.9 million as part of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act’s (SMCRA) Abandoned Mine Land (AML) grant program, and $25 million through the Abandoned Mine Land Economic Revitalization (AMLER) grant program.
The support comes to the state as part of an ongoing program through the U.S. Department of Interior, which reclaims lands and waters that were affected by mining nationwide.
The Biden Administration allocated $260 million to states and tribes to use in mine closure or clean-up projects.
Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation fees, which partly fund these clean-ups, are slated to expire at the end of September 2021.
U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin was the lead sponsor of the Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Fee Extension Act of 2019, which would have extended the fee by an additional 15 years.
So far, there’s been no movement from Congress, but Manchin said he will introduce new legislation to extend the fee. Manchin is the chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.