Interior Provides More Than $300 Million in Conservation Funding for States & Tribes to Reclaim & Repurpose Abandoned Coal Mines

Last edited 09/29/2021

Date: February 24, 2018

WASHINGTON – The Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) today announced the availability of the Fiscal Year 2018 Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Reclamation grants, which will provide $300.7 million to states and tribes to reclaim abandoned coal mines.

“Restoring the usability of abandoned mine lands is an example of the Department of the Interior’s multiple-use mission of conservation in action. Interior will continue helping states and tribes responsibly develop America’s energy resources and address legacy problems related to 200 years of mining,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. “AML grants keep Americans working and making a difference in their communities. This money will be used to fix highwalls, stabilize land above underground mines, and repair impaired waters, among other things. AML reclamation makes life better in our Nation’s coal communities.”

Approximately $120 million of the increase from FY 2017 is the result of a phase-in period for states and tribes to receive certified in lieu funds that were withheld under the 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 will receive $61 million dollars in FY 2018 and FY 2019, in addition to the certified in lieu funds those states and tribes otherwise receive each year from the U.S. Treasury. Uncertified states will also receive an increase of the same amount in those years. A small portion of the increase in AML funding is attributed to an upturn in U.S. coal production. The total amount available for distribution was reduced by the mandated sequestration amount of 6.6 percent that was applied across the board.

OSMRE provides AML grants to the 28 coal-producing states and 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. After OSMRE has evaluated and verified the requests, the bureau will make the award amounts available.

Under the AML program, OSMRE has distributed more than $5 billion in grants to states and tribes from the Abandoned Mine Land Fund. Over the past 40 years, the AML program has directly contributed to closing more than 43,000 abandoned underground mine shafts and openings; eliminating nearly 1,000 miles of highwalls; and restoring over 35,000 acres of streams and land.

The FY 2018 AML Reclamation funding available to states and tribes is as follows:

State/Tribe Amount Allocated
Alabama 5,268,273
Alaska 2,802,000
Arkansas 2,802,000
Colorado 3,255,110
Illinois 19,022,872
Indiana 8,113,445
Iowa 2,802,000
Kansas 2,802,000
Kentucky 19,042,090
Louisiana 210,633
Maryland 2,802,000
Mississippi 118,095
Missouri 2,802,000
Montana 7,552,769
New Mexico 2,802,000
North Dakota 2,802,000
Ohio 10,759,651
Oklahoma 2,802,000
Pennsylvania 55,657,898
Tennessee 2,802,000
Texas 2,787,150
Utah 2,802,000
Virginia 5,835,711
West Virginia 36,274,249
Wyoming 91,340,088
Crow Tribe 1,160,946
Hopi Tribe 551,961
Navajo Nation 2,955,996


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

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