The Department of Interior estimates that there is more than $10 billion worth of cleanup needed on abandoned mine lands remaining in the US. While the Department’s Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Reclamation Program has distributed almost $6 billion to states and tribes for reclamation since 1977, approximately $2.3 billion currently remains in the AML Fund’s existing, unappropriated balance. Meanwhile, coal communities across Appalachia are struggling to cope with significant job losses after a decrease in nationwide coal production has left thousands unemployed.
The bipartisan Revitalizing the Economy of Coal Communities by Leveraging Local Activities and Investing More (RECLAIM) Act of 2019 (HR 2156) supports these communities by:
- Accelerating the release of $1 billion from the unappropriated balance of the AML Fund over 5 years
- Ensuring that RECLAIM funds are only used for the reclamation of abandoned mine sites
- Requiring that sites reclaimed under the bill are used for future economic or community development
- Ensuring that States and Indian tribes collaborate with local stakeholders on RECLAIM-funded projects, thereby laying a foundation for future locally-driven economic development efforts
Please contact Congressman Griffith today and ask him to cosponsor this important legislation.