Department of Interior Announces $122.5 Million for Economic Revitalization Grants for Abandoned Mining Lands

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Date: Wednesday, November 2, 2022
Contact: [email protected]

WASHINGTON The Department of the Interior today announced that the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) is providing $122.5 million in funding in fiscal year 2022 for Mining Lands Economic Revitalization Grants Abandoned (AMLER) available to eligible states and tribes. These funds will support local investment opportunities that create well-paying unionized jobs and ensure the long-term sustainable rehabilitation of abandoned mining lands.

The Biden-Harris administration has made unprecedented investments in the coal, oil and gas, and power communities, including through the Interagency Coal and Power Communities Task Force, which coordinates federal investments to support the economic revitalization of energy communities. The AMLER program also advances the President’s Justice40 initiative which pledges to provide 40% of the benefits of select climate and clean energy investments to disadvantaged communities.

“The AMLER program is one of the many ways the Biden-Harris administration is investing in coal communities,” said Laura Daniel-Davis, principal assistant assistant secretary for lands and minerals. “AMLER grants are community projects that rehabilitate degraded and hazardous sites, while creating new economic opportunities and well-paying jobs for coal communities. We have already seen the impact of this program – with projects that lay the foundation for economic opportunity for years to come.

Grants are available for the six Appalachian states with the highest number of unfunded high-priority abandoned mining land issues and three tribes with approved AML programs. In fiscal 2022, AMLER funds were allocated as follows: Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia ($26.63 million each); Alabama, Ohio and Virginia ($10.652 million each); and the Crow Tribe, Hopi Tribe and Navajo Nation ($3.551 million each).

States and tribes will work with local partners to identify projects that will bring the most environmental and economic benefits to their communities. The funding opportunity notice announced today follows the release of final guidelines on how eligible states and tribes can apply.

Established in 2016, the AMLER program funds projects that return former coal mining sites to productive uses through economic and community development. AML Reclamation Projects support vital jobs for coal mining communities by investing in projects that close dangerous mine shafts, reclaim unstable slopes, improve water quality by treating acid mine drainage, and restore water supplies damaged by mining. The AMLER program has supported further community revitalization by taking these degraded or polluted sites and turning them into recreation destinations, training centers, agricultural transformation centers, business parks, solar farms and more.

AMLER funds complement nearly $725 million in fiscal year 2022 funding that was made available to 22 states and the Navajo Nation to reclaim abandoned mining lands under the President’s bipartisan Infrastructure Act Biden. In addition, $144 million in FY22 funding has been made available through OSMRE’s traditional AML grant program.

For more information on the AMLER program and the grantmaking process, please visit the OSMRE website.

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