Pennsylvania to Receive $28.67 Million for Abandoned Mine Land Revitalization

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Yesterday, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that Pennsylvania will receive $28.67 million from the Abandoned Mine Land Economic Revitalization (AMLER) Program. This funding, provided by the U.S. Department of the Interior, aims to transform previously reclaimed abandoned mine land into sites suitable for recreation, business, or energy projects.

Pennsylvania is home to one-third of the nation’s abandoned mine land, affecting approximately 43 of the state’s 67 counties. The environmental hazards of these sites include polluted waterways, property damage, and underground mine fires. The new funding aims to continue the cleanup efforts, protect the environment, and stimulate local economies.

“Too many Pennsylvania communities still face the environmental hazards of abandoned mine land,” said Senator Casey. “Thanks to this funding, we can keep cleaning up this land, protecting our environment, and delivering a boost to Pennsylvania local economies with new, good-paying jobs. I have always fought for the health and safety of Pennsylvania communities and will continue to advocate for investments that ensure we can clean up legacy mining sites.”

Senator Casey has been a long-time advocate for the cleanup of abandoned mine land (AML). Through his efforts, Pennsylvania has received a total of $488 million from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) for AML reclamation. In May 2022, Casey secured an additional $26.6 million through the AMLER Program for revitalization projects.

Reviving Pennsylvania: Funding for a Brighter Future

Abandoned mine lands pose serious environmental and public health risks. Polluted waterways impact drinking water quality and aquatic life, while underground mine fires can cause ground subsidence and release harmful gases. Addressing these issues not only protects the environment but also makes these areas safer for residents.

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Moreover, the transformation of these sites can lead to substantial economic benefits. By making previously unusable land viable for new projects, the funding supports the creation of new businesses and recreational areas, which in turn generate jobs and boost local economies. The development of energy projects on these lands could also contribute to Pennsylvania’s renewable energy goals.

After hearing from Pennsylvania communities about the challenges in using IIJA AML funds to clean up acid mine drainage (AMD), Senator Casey pushed for more flexible funding options. He introduced and passed the STREAM Act, which allows states to use infrastructure law funding to address AMD and other long-term impacts of abandoned mine lands. Acid mine drainage severely pollutes rivers and streams, affecting water quality and ecosystems. The STREAM Act provides crucial support to mitigate these effects.

In summary, the $28.67 million funding from the AMLER Program represents a vital investment in Pennsylvania’s future. It will facilitate the continued cleanup of hazardous sites, protect the environment, and promote economic development. Senator Casey’s efforts have ensured that Pennsylvania can address both immediate and long-term impacts of abandoned mine lands, ultimately contributing to healthier communities and a stronger economy.

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