The federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Friday announced Pennsylvania will receive a mandatory minimum of $33.6 million Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Fund grant for FY 2017.
The mandatory minimum of AML reclamation funds for Pennsylvania was $46.1 million in FY 2016 and $47.8 million in FY 2015.
OSM pointed out Congressional sequestration of funding reduced Pennsylvania’s grant by $2.486,910 for 2017 and by a total of $16,470,138 since sequestration went into effect in 2013.
This funding is in addition to the $30 million in RECLAIM funding Pennsylvania received to reclaim abandoned mines with economic development potential.
“We still have much work to do” said OSMRE Director Joe Pizarchik. “We continue to discover threats from left-behind mine pits, dangerous highwalls, acid mine drainage that pollutes our water supplies, and hazardous mine openings. AML money could have, and can, help provide jobs to people in need throughout coal country.”
Abandoned Mine Land (AML) grants are funded in part by a fee collected on all coal produced in the United States to help eliminate dangerous conditions and pollution caused by past coal mining.
The AML Reclamation Fund is slated to come to a conclusion in 2021 unless it is reauthorized by Congress, as it was in 2006.
(Photo: Boswell mine reclamation project, Somerset County.)
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