Abandoned Mines Land Fund and HR4248

Locally in the news, more than half a dozen southwest Virginia communities have already voted on and passed resolutions that urge the Commonwealth’s congressional delegation to renew funding that aids in the abandoned mine cleanup process. To date, Appalachia, Big Stone, Dungannon, Haysi, Norton, Pound and St. Paul have all asked Virginia’s legislature to continue the Abandoned Mine Lands Fund, the AML.
The AML Fund utilizes the fees paid by coal companies to provide funding for states and tribes to assist in reclaiming coal mines that were abandoned prior to 1977.  According to Appalachian Voices, the current AML Fund will end in September of 2021. To date, the AML Fund has reclaimed nearly 800,000 acres of damaged abandoned property, with close to six billion dollars used, and the passage of HR4248 recently by the House Committee of Natural Resources, would add an additional fifteen years of funding to the project.

 

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