Grant Funds Available for Development of Abandoned Mine Land in WV

Applications are being accepted for a portion of $25 million in grant funding available for economic development projects. The projects must be located on or adjacent to mine sites that ceased operations prior to the signing of the Surface Mine Control and Reclamation Act on Aug. 3, 1977.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection's Office of Abandoned Mine Lands and Reclamation is accepting applications for a portion of $25 million in grant funding available for economic development projects. The projects must be located on or adjacent to mine sites that ceased operations prior to the signing of the Surface Mine Control and Reclamation Act on Aug. 3, 1977.

Completed applications are due by June 15, 2018. WVDEP is ultimately responsible for determining which projects get funded, working with an advisory committee made up of representatives from the West Virginia Department of Commerce and the governor's office. Recipients of grant funding could be announced as early as September.

Since 2016, 18 projects have received a total of $53 million in grant funding through the program -- projects that have ranged from water line expansions and public sewer system improvements to new construction at a YMCA facility and development of an ATV trail. "These vital projects will help improve the lives of people who live near or on abandoned mine land sites and will help to promote tourism and other economic development," said WVDEP Cabinet Secretary Austin Caperton. "I encourage any group who has a plan to develop an abandoned mine land site to apply for this grant funding. Whether the project is big or small, they're all important."

The grant funding is provided by the federal government. It is being administered by AML; all funding must be approved by the U.S. Department of the Interior's Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation, and Enforcement.

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