Jessica Lilly Published

Work Continues On Land Clean-Up Projects In West Virginia Communities Affected By Coal Mining

Muddy Creek Acid Mine Drainage

The state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is taking new applications for clean up projects through the Office of Abandoned Mine Lands and Reclamation.

According to a news release from the DEP, the state Office of Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) is looking for economic development project proposals. Some portion of $25 million in federal grant funding is available.

Funds are administered by the AML Pilot Program, which means projects must be located on or adjacent to mines that closed before 1977, when the Surface Mine and Reclamation Act passed.

The state AML office resolves public safety issues such as mine fires, mining-impacted water supplies, and other dangers caused from mining activity that happened more than 40 years ago — before there were any measures in place to restore mining property.

Proposals will be evaluated by the West Virginia DEP with input from the state Department of Commerce, Department of Transportation, and the Governor’s Office. Projects must also be approved by the U.S. Department of Interior’s Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation, and Enforcement to ensure federal guidelines are met.

The majority of these sites are located East of the Allegheny Mountains. The DEP also shared tips and guidelines for applying.

Applications are due July 31.