Millions awarded to local states for cleaning up coal mines - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Millions awarded to local states for cleaning up coal mines

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WASHINGTON -- Illinois, Kentucky, and Missouri are among 25 states given a total of more than $290 million to clean up abandoned coal mines.

U.S. Acting Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt today announced that the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) will provide $18,678,495 to Illinois, $18,296,295 to Kentucky, and $2,814,000 to Missouri to clean up and repurpose abandoned coal mines.

The money is part of Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Reclamation grants. More than $291 million in AML Reclamation funding will be available to states and tribes in FY 2019.

"These grants are a great example of Interior partnering with states, Tribes, and local governments to provide resources for conservation efforts and infrastructure and public safety improvements, like fixing embankments, stabilizing land above underground mines, and restoring streams," said Acting Secretary Bernhardt. "The investment we're making back into coal country helps protect people, land, water and property, and enhances the lives of local citizens."

AML grants, funded in part by a fee based on coal produced in the United States, help to eliminate dangerous conditions and pollution caused by past coal mining. AML-funded projects have closed dangerous mine shafts, eliminated highwalls, reclaimed unstable slopes, treated acid mine drainage, and restored water supplies damaged by mining.

OSMRE provides AML grants to the 25 coal-producing states and three tribes according to a congressionally mandated formula based on their past and current coal production. 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.

The authority to collect AML reclamation fees is slated to expire in September 2021, unless Congress reauthorizes the fee, as it did in 2006.

The FY 2019 AML Reclamation funding available to states and tribes is as follows:

State / Tribe     Amount Allocated
Alabama           $5,139,869
Alaska              $2,814,000
Arkansas          $2,814,000
Colorado          $3,117,101
Illinois               $18,678,495
Indiana             $8,072,975
Iowa                 $2,814,000
Kansas             $2,814,000
Kentucky          $18,296,295
Louisiana          $177,816
Maryland           $2,814,000
Mississippi        $102,445
Missouri            $2,814,000
Montana           $7,747,222
New Mexico      $2,814,000
North Dakota    $2,814,000
Ohio                  $10,285,761
Oklahoma         $2,814,000
Pennsylvania    $53,846,935
Tennessee        $2,814,000
Texas                $2,515,463
Utah                  $1,362,163
Virginia              $5,607,813
West Virginia     $35,754,311
Wyoming           $87,833,889
Crow Tribe         $1,211,505
Hopi Tribe          $588,522
Navajo Nation    $2,817,230
National Total   $291,295,810

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