Read the complete press release here.
We are so proud of all the hard work our members and other grassroots community organizers have put into advocating for clean water, cleaning up abandoned mine lands, and the health and safety of their communities. It’s very rewarding to see these efforts pay off with the passing of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
This legislation includes an unprecedented $11.3 billion in Abandoned Mine Land (AML) funding and also reauthorizes the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fee for 13 years at 80% of its current level. The AML funding represents a massive increase compared to the current annual distribution for AML reclamation and restoration. It nearly doubles the amount to be distributed in just 15 years and would roughly equal the reclamation costs currently in the federal database. This is one of the largest investments in our communities in decades!
“This is a truly historic investment that will change the landscape in coal communities across the country,” said Erin Savage, Senior Program Manager for Appalachian Voices. “The AML program has addressed many abandoned mine sites over the last 4 decades, but many sites are still in need of cleanup. We thank our Congressional leadership for taking action.”
This new investment represents a major victory for advocates from communities who have been fighting for years to spur economic development in the places they live and work through coal mine reclamation. AML sites pose health and safety risks to residents and stand as barriers to economic growth. These crucial infrastructure projects will put people to work repairing land and waterways damaged by mining, treating polluted waters, sealing and filling abandoned mine entries, and developing erosion prevention measures to prevent dangerous land and mudslides.