Interior Provides More Than $291 Million in Conservation Funding for States and Tribes to Clean Up and Repurpose Abandoned Coal Mines

AML funds improve coal communities and the lives of their residents

Last edited 11/22/2021

Date: March 19, 2019

WASHINGTON – U.S. Acting Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt today announced the availability of the Fiscal Year 2019 Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Reclamation grants through the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE). This year’s grants will provide more than $291.2 million [1] for states and tribes to reclaim and repurpose abandoned coal lands.

“These grants are a great example of Interior partnering with states, Tribes, and local governments to provide resources for conservation efforts and infrastructure and public safety improvements, like fixing embankments, stabilizing land above underground mines, and restoring streams,” said Acting Secretary Bernhardt. “The investment we’re making back into coal country helps protect people, land, water and property, and enhances the lives of local citizens.”

AML grants, funded in part by a fee based on coal produced in the United States, help to eliminate dangerous conditions and pollution caused by past coal mining. AML-funded projects have closed dangerous mine shafts, eliminated highwalls, reclaimed unstable slopes, treated acid mine drainage, and restored water supplies damaged by mining.

OSMRE provides AML grants to the 25 coal-producing states and three tribes according to a congressionally mandated formula based on their past and current coal production. Each year, after the distribution is announced, eligible states and tribes apply for annual reclamation grants to access money in their allocations. OSMRE evaluates and verifies the requests, and makes the award amounts available.

The authority to collect AML reclamation fees is slated to expire in September 2021, unless Congress reauthorizes the fee, as it did in 2006.

The FY 2019 AML Reclamation funding available to states and tribes is as follows:
State / Tribe Amount Allocated
Alabama $5,139,869
Alaska $2,814,000
Arkansas $2,814,000
Colorado $3,117,101
Illinois $18,678,495
Indiana $8,072,975
Iowa $2,814,000
Kansas $2,814,000
Kentucky $18,296,295
Louisiana $177,816
Maryland $2,814,000
Mississippi $102,445
Missouri $2,814,000
Montana $7,747,222
New Mexico $2,814,000
North Dakota $2,814,000
Ohio $10,285,761
Oklahoma $2,814,000
Pennsylvania $53,846,935
Tennessee $2,814,000
Texas $2,515,463
Utah $1,362,163
Virginia $5,607,813
West Virginia $35,754,311
Wyoming $87,833,889
Crow Tribe $1,211,505
Hopi Tribe $588,522
Navajo Nation $2,817,230
National Total $291,295,810

 To watch videos featuring award-winning AML projects, please visit OSMRE’s YouTube Channel.

[1] Approximately $120 million of the total AML Reclamation grants is the result of the final payment from the phase-in period for states and tribes to receive certified in lieu funds that were withheld under Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) between FY 2009 and FY 2011. Those states and tribes that have certified that they have completed their abandoned mine land reclamation obligations received $61 million dollars, in addition to the certified in lieu funds those states and tribes otherwise receive each year from the U.S. Treasury. Uncertified states also received a similar increase of $61 million as well as their annual payments from the AML Fund. The total amount available for the FY 2019 AML Grant distribution was reduced by the mandated sequestration amount of 6.2 percent that was applied across the board resulting in a reduction of $19.2 million.


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