Sunday, February 25, 2018

PA Receives $55.6 Million From Feds For Abandoned Mine Reclamation

The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Saturday announced it will provide $300.7 million to states and tribes to reclaim abandoned coal mines, including $55.6 million to Pennsylvania.
This represents the regular annual allocation Pennsylvania receives, the Congressionally- mandated sequestration amount of 6.6 percent that was applied across the board.
“Restoring the usability of abandoned mine lands is an example of the Department of the Interior’s multiple-use mission of conservation in action. Interior will continue helping states and tribes responsibly develop America’s energy resources and address legacy problems related to 200 years of mining,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. “AML grants keep Americans working and making a difference in their communities. This money will be used to fix highwalls, stabilize land above underground mines, and repair impaired waters, among other things. AML reclamation makes life better in our Nation’s coal communities.”
Pennsylvania received $33.5 million in federal AML reclamation funding in FY 2017, down from $67 million and $61 million in FY 2012 and FY 2013.
These federal AML monies come from a per ton fee on coal production that is due to expire in 2021.
There was no information in the announcement about whether the Trump Administration supports the RECLAIM initiative that would provide additional funding for mine reclamation projects that have economic development potential.
Pennsylvania has received an additional $30 million from a similar Obama-era initiative in FY 2016, in addition to $42.9 million in the normal federal AML allocation totaling $72.9 million for that year, according to DEP.
(Photo: Ehrenfeld Mine Reclamation Project, Cambria County.)
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