Curtis Tate Published

State To Receive $140 Million From Interior For Abandoned Mines

A yellow bulldozer moves a mound of black coal at a power plant in West Virginia.
The coal pile at the Mountaineer Power Plant in Mason County, West Virginia.
David Adkins/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia is eligible for a new round of Abandoned Mine Land (AML) funds.

The U.S. Department of the Interior is making $140 million in AML funds available to West Virginia, the most of any state but Pennsylvania.

A total of 22 states and the Navajo Nation will receive $725 million this fiscal year. In addition to West Virginia and Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky, are included.

The funds help clean up legacy mining sites, which can be a source of air and water pollution, a safety hazard and a threat to the climate. Abandoned mines release methane, which is a more powerful heat-trapping gas than carbon dioxide.

Projects funded through AML can revive local economies, put displaced miners back to work and create lasting recreational opportunities.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 made a total of $11 billion to address the legacy pollution of abandoned mines and create employment opportunities in coal communities.

The program includes mines that were abandoned before 1977. 

Earlier this week, West Virginia received $28 million from the Abandoned Mine Land Economic Revitalization program, which aims to stimulate economic development in coal communities.