McKinley Joins Senators Manchin, Capito To Announce $140 Million To Reclaim Abandoned Mine Lands
Historic funding will help West Virginia reinvigorate coal communities, create good-paying jobs, and clean up the environment
Washington, February 7, 2022
Washington, DC –Representative David McKinley (R-WV) joined U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) to announce that West Virginia will receive $140,751,000 in Fiscal Year 2022 to reclaim abandoned mine lands (AML). This historic amount of funding, made possible by the recently enacted bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, will help ensure the health and safety of West Virginia’s coal communities while driving economic growth and creating good-paying jobs.
“With more than 30% of West Virginians living within a mile of abandoned mine land sites, today’s announcement that we will begin receiving funds dedicated to reclaiming mine land sites is essential to restoring the economic viability of these communities,” said Rep. McKinley. “We expect to see more than $700 million over the next five years, a direct benefit of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, which will address concerns like acid mine drainage and water supplies damaged by mining, resulting in more jobs and economic opportunity across West Virginia.”
“For generations, West Virginians and coal communities around the country have done the heavy lifting that made us the world leader we are today. These communities still bear the scars of those sacrifices. Today’s announcement follows last week’s news that West Virginia was receiving nearly $142 million dollars to clean up abandoned wells – both of which are truly historic investments, not only in West Virginia but in communities across the country. As Chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, I fought to extend the AML fee and include substantial funding in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to ensure our hardworking coal communities are able to rebuild and thrive once again and West Virginians are given new economic opportunities. I thank Secretary Haaland for her commitment to implementing the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and I look forward to seeing West Virginia move quickly to put these funds to work. As always, I will continue to work with the Administration, as well as my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, to fight for programs that invest in West Virginia,” said Chairman Manchin.
“Reclaiming our abandoned mine lands will continue to have positive impacts in West Virginia, leading to improvements in our water quality, revitalized landscapes, and further economic development and job creation. Restoring forests, while simultaneously improving the ecosystems of our wildlife, are important steps to keeping West Virginia wild and wonderful for years to come. I’m glad to see West Virginia continuing to see benefits from the bipartisan infrastructure law I helped negotiate and craft, and I look forward to the difference this investment will make in our communities,” Senator Capito said.
The historic Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provided nearly $11.3 billion in AML funding over 15 years in annual allotments to eligible States and Tribes. In West Virginia, these grants will help the State’s Department of Environmental Protection invest in projects that close dangerous mine shafts, reclaim unstable slopes, improve water quality by treating acid mine drainage, and restore water supplies damaged by mining, while providing local jobs including those for former coal workers.
The funding announced today is more than seven times the amount West Virginia received in 2021 through the traditional AML program and over three times more funding than the traditional AML grants and AML Economic Revitalization Grants (AMLER) Program funding from last year combined. In addition to creating good-paying jobs, these investments create safer and more inhabitable communities and drive new economic opportunities.