Warner and Kaine Announce $22,790,000 in Infrastructure Funding to Reclaim Abandoned Mine Lands in Virginia
Feb 07 2022
WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) today announced $22,790,000 in Fiscal Year 2022 funding to reclaim abandoned mine lands (AML) in Virginia – an effort that will strengthen coal communities by promoting economic opportunity and addressing dangerous hazards that threaten the health of Virginians and the long-term wellbeing of communities. The funding, awarded through the Department of the Interior (DOI), was made possible by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act negotiated by Sen. Warner and supported by Sen. Kaine.
“This investment into Virginia mining communities will not only create good paying jobs, but will also revitalize energy communities by reclaiming abandoned, unsafe lands for new use,” the Senators said. “We are proud to see Virginia’s mining communities continue to reap the benefits of the infrastructure law passed by Congress and signed by President Biden.”
AML reclamation projects supported by this funding will close dangerous mine shafts, reclaim unstable slopes, improve water quality by treating acid mine drainage, and restore water supplies damaged by mining. The projects will eliminate dangerous environmental conditions and pollution caused by past coal mining, including by remediating abandoned mines that are leaking methane – a key contributor to climate change. Through these projects, hazardous lands can be reclaimed into recreational facilities and targeted for other economic redevelopment uses like advanced manufacturing and renewable energy deployment.
These investments will work to supplement traditional annual AML grants, which are funded by coal operators and ensured to be provided through 2034 thanks to language and appropriated funds of $11.3 billion over 15 years in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.