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Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Makes $298 Million Available to Clean Up Abandoned Coal Mines

States and Tribes Use Funds to Eliminate Dangerous and Polluting Mines, Create Jobs

The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) today announced that more than $298 million is available in Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 to states and tribes to reclaim abandoned coal mines.

Funded in part by a fee collected on all coal produced in the United States, the 2014 Abandoned Mine Land (AML) grants enable 28 eligible states and tribes to help eliminate dangerous conditions and pollution caused by past coal mining. Since Congress enacted the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA), OSMRE has provided more than $7.8 billion to reclaim more than 370,000 acres of high-priority hazardous abandoned mine sites.

Due to a reduction of the AML fee that coal mine operators pay (required in 2006 amendments to SMCRA), the FY 2014 sequestration of mandatory Federal budgetary resources, and a decline in coal production, the 2014 AML grants reflect a $23.8 million decrease from the $322 million distributed last year. AML-funded projects include closing dangerous mine shafts, reclaiming unstable slopes, improving water quality by treating acid mine drainage, and restoring water supplies damaged by mining. The AML funds that OSMRE provides also support vitally needed well-paying jobs for communities in coal country.

OSMRE provides AML grants to 28 coal-producing states and tribes according to a congressionally mandated formula based on their past and current coal production. Between now and the end of September — the end of the current fiscal year — states and tribes will apply for their annual reclamation grants, after which time OSMRE will make the respective award amounts available.

The FY 2014 funding available to states and tribes is as follows:

State/Tribe Distribution Amount Sequestered

Alabama $7,422,622.39 $575,892.59

Alaska $2,784,000.00 $216,000.00

Arkansas $2,784,000.00 $216,000.00

Colorado $7,298,903.24 $566,294.35

Illinois $19,822,815.31 $1,537,977.50

Indiana $13,738,003.70 $1,065,880.08

Iowa $2,784,000.00 $216,000.00

Kansas $2,784,000.00 $216,000.00

Kentucky $36,613,301.44 $2,840,687.60

Louisiana $359,167.00 $27,866.00

Maryland $2,784,000.00 $216,000.00

Mississippi $239,577.94 $18,587.86

Missouri $2,784,000.00 $216,000.00

Montana $11,663,885.15 $904,956.00

New Mexico $4,494,222.67 $348,689.60

North Dakota $3,382,106.31 $262,404.93

Ohio $13,046,117.85 $1,012,198.60

Oklahoma $2,784,000.00 $216,000.00

Pennsylvania $52,368,972.10 $4,063,110.00

Tennessee $2,784,000.00 $216,000.00

Texas $4,728,260.75 $366,848.00

Utah $4,121,389.21 $319,762.69

Virginia $8,946,138.95 $694,096.60

West Virginia $51,751,093.31 $4,015,171.77

Wyoming* $26,920,000.00 $1,080,000.00

Crow Tribe $1,687,902.55 $130,958.00

Hopi Tribe $1,164,826.98 $90,375.00

Navajo Nation $6,276,575.75 $486,976.00

National Total $298,317,882.60 $22,136,733.17

* The Helium Stewardship Act (P.L. 113-40) provides $13 million of additional FY 2014 AML funding for Wyoming. These funds are not subject to sequestration in FY 2014, since the Helium Stewardship Act was enacted after the issuance of the FY 2014 Sequestration Report in April 2013.

OSMRE administers the annual grants in accordance with SMCRA, which requires the bureau to make AML funding available to eligible states and tribes. The FY 2014 sequestration of mandatory Federal budgetary resources withheld 7.2 percent of the AML grant funds available in the current fiscal year.

The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement carries out the requirements of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 in cooperation with states and tribes. OSMRE’s objectives are to ensure that coal mining activities are conducted in a manner that protects citizens and the environment during mining, to ensure that the land is restored to beneficial use after mining, and to mitigate the effects of past mining by aggressively pursuing reclamation of abandoned coal mines. For instant updates on OSMRE, follow the bureau on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/OSMRE or visit the OSMRE home page at http://www.osmre.gov.

 

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