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PA Receives Additional $28.6 Million to Restore Abandoned Mine Land for Economic Development

by Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

Photo courtesy of Mackenzie Marco on Unsplash

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has received $28.6 million in federal funding for the 2024 Abandoned Mine Land Economic Revitalization (AMLER) Program, which will put abandoned mine lands across the Commonwealth to good use by funding economic and community development projects on reclaimed sites. Previous AMLER projects include public parks, public waterlines to ensure clean and safe water, recreational trails for fishing and biking, and more. Pennsylvania has more abandoned coal mines than any other state in the country. With the support of federal and state funding, Pennsylvania has already rehabilitated 150,000 acres of abandoned mine lands.

“Remediation of abandoned mine lands is critical for the health, safety, and well-being of communities across Pennsylvania,” said DEP Acting Secretary Jessica Shirley. “With this federal funding, we will be able to continue this vital work that protects public health and safety and put reclaimed land to good use with eligible economic development initiatives.”

Pennsylvania has a roughly $5 billion need for reclamation and stream restoration. More than 5,000 miles of streams in Pennsylvania are impacted by acid mine drainage from abandoned mining sites – these toxic chemicals can harm our water sources and result in issues like erosion. In April, Lieutenant Governor Austin Davis and U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced a $244 million investment into restoring and reclaiming abandoned mine lands in Pennsylvania. The funding is part of the $725 million for abandoned mine cleanup nationwide this year under the Infrastructure, Investment, and Jobs Act (IIJA). The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation will receive $244 million for projects to clean up abandoned mine lands and protect Pennsylvania communities – removing waste piles, re-grading dangerous high walls that can result in loose dirt, trees, and other hazards, treating abandoned mine drainage that effects streams and rivers, and preventing and treating mine subsidence underneath homes and businesses across the Commonwealth.

Millions of structures in Pennsylvania are located over old, abandoned underground coal and clay mines. That’s why DEP offers mine subsidence insurance for Pennsylvania homeowners who may have abandoned mines beneath their homes. Damage due to mine subsidence or mine water breakouts is usually not covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy. Residential Coverage of $150,000 through DEP costs just $41.25 a year. Since 1961, the Mine Subsidence Insurance program has paid out over $36 million in homeowner claims.

On June 3, 2024, DEP received the FY 2024 AMLER Program funding administered by The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE). OSMRE used the Department of the Interior’s Financial & Business Management System (FBMS) Standard Treasury for payment allocation. This is the ninth year Pennsylvania has received funding from the AMLER Program. AMLER was established in 2016 to accelerate abandoned mine land remediation for long-term sustainable use through economic and community development.

Eligible projects will need to comply with the OSMRE FY 2024 AMLER guidance document. Example projects can include outdoor recreation/conservation plans and industrial improvements. Interested applicants can apply on DEP’s Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) and Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) Grant Program page.

For more information, visit the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s website, or follow DEP on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

The post PA Receives Additional $28.6 Million to Restore Abandoned Mine Land for Economic Development appeared first on BCTV.

Source: bctv

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