Capito, Manchin and McKinley announce $140 million to reclaim abandoned mining land in West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Today U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (RW.Va.) and Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) and Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) announced that West Virginia received $140,751,000 from the bipartisan infrastructure investment – and Employment Act has three members backed to reclaim Abandoned Mine Land (AML). This important funding will help ensure the health and safety of West Virginia’s coal communities and revitalize economies in affected areas.

“Reclaiming our abandoned mining land will help improve water quality, revitalize landscapes, and spur economic development and job creation in West Virginia. I saw such efforts firsthand earlier this year and understand the implications of investing in these types of projects,” Senator Capito said. “I am pleased to see that West Virginia has received this funding through the bipartisan infrastructure bill that I helped draft and negotiate, and I look forward to the difference this investment will make in our communities.”

“Coal communities across the country and in West Virginia did the hard work to power our great nation as America grew into the superpower we are today. Today’s funding announcement will help address abandoned mining areas throughout West Virginia and will open a new chapter for many of those communities. By restoring abandoned mining land and making it safer, more livable, and ready for economic development, we can provide new opportunities for coal communities to thrive again. As chair of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, I was proud to include a provision in the bipartisan infrastructure bill that prioritizes reclamation projects that employ coal industry workers affected by the changing energy sector and also extends the AML fee that this will ensure that even more funds are available for the rehabilitation of abandoned mineland in the years to come. Our brave miners have energized our nation for generations, and I will continue to work with the administration and my bipartisan colleagues to invest in West Virginia’s future,” said Senator Manchin.

“For more than a century, West Virginia has provided the energy to power America. As a result, our landscape is littered with abandoned mine sites. With nearly 200,000 acres of land in West Virginia that needs to be cleared, the need exceeds the resources available. However, under the bipartisan infrastructure bill, we have secured significant investments to clean up AML sites. This funding will help restore the land, clean up streams and rivers, and lead to economic development and jobs for coal communities across the state,” said Rep. McKinley.

“This funding will provide West Virginia with an amazing opportunity to clean up our water and continue to work toward clearing the backlog of health and safety problems left by pre-1977 mining. Clean water is at the heart of every community in West Virginia, and we must do everything we can to ensure everyone has access to clean water. I appreciate Rep. David McKinley for his leadership in sponsoring the STREAM Act and for keeping places like West Virginia at the forefront of everything that’s going on in Washington. The STREAM Act will allow West Virginia to build and maintain advanced AMD treatment facilities that clean entire watersheds. More AMD treatment also has the added benefit of recovering rare earth elements and critical materials for our nation’s manufacturing and safety needs, and will help make West Virginia the center for these critical components in the modern economy. This represents a great opportunity to do much good in West Virginia,” said Governor Justice.

The historic Infrastructure Investment and Employment Act provided nearly $11.3 billion in AML funding over 15 years in annual allocations to eligible states and tribes. In West Virginia, these grants will help the state’s Department of Environmental Protection invest in projects that close hazardous mine shafts, reclaim unstable slopes, improve water quality by treating acid mine drainage, and restore water supplies damaged by mining, while creating local jobs for former coal workers.

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