Liz McCormick Published

Applications for WVDEP Economic Development Grant Now Available

A surface mine in Letcher County, Kentucky. The reclaimed part of the mine is seeded with grass.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Abandoned Mine Lands and Reclamation is accepting applications for a portion of $25 million in grant funding for economic development projects.

Applicants have until June 15 to apply.

The grant application can be found here on the WVDEP website.

The state DEP stated in a news release that to qualify, projects must be located on or adjacent to mine sites that ended operations prior to the Surface Mine Control and Reclamation Act in August 1977.

The DEP will be responsible for determining which projects get funded, and will work with an advisory committee made up of representatives from the West Virginia Department of Commerce, and the Governor’s Office.

Recipients of grant funding could be announced as early as September.

From the WVDEP news release:

“Since 2016, 18 projects have received a total of $53 million dollars in grant funding through this program. Those projects are located in Boone, Clay, Kanawha, Fayette, Lincoln, Logan, Marion, Mason, McDowell, Mercer, Preston, Raleigh, and Tucker counties. The projects that received grant funding ranged from water line expansions and public sewer system improvements to new construction at a YMCA facility and development of an ATV trail.

‘These vital projects will help improve the lives of people who live near or on abandoned mine land sites and will help to promote tourism and other economic development,’ said WVDEP Cabinet Secretary Austin Caperton.

The grant funding, provided by the federal government, is being administered by AML and all funding must be approved by the US Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation, and Enforcement.”