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One-third of the Nation’s abandoned mine land is in Pennsylvania, affecting 43 of PA’s 67 counties and as many as 1.4 million residents

Pennsylvania is eligible to receive more than $3 billion over the next 15 years from the infrastructure law to clean up abandoned mine land

Washington, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) is announcing that Pennsylvania will receive $28.67 million from the Abandoned Mine Land Economic Revitalization (AMLER) Program from the U.S. Department of the Interior. This funding will help further develop previously reclaimed abandoned mine land to make it viable for recreation, business, or energy projects. One-third of the Nation’s abandoned mine land (AML) is in Pennsylvania, with approximately 43 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties affected by abandoned coal mines.

“Too many Pennsylvania communities still face the environmental hazards of abandoned mine land — polluted waterways, property damage, and underground mine fire. 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,” said Senator Casey.  “I have always fought for the health and safety of Pennsylvania communities and I will continue to advocate for investments that ensure we can clean up legacy mining sites.

Senator Casey has been a strong advocate for AML cleanup. He has delivered a total of $488 million to reclaim abandoned mine land in Pennsylvania from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). Casey secured $26.6 million  in May 2022 to revitalize AML through the AMLER Program.

After hearing from Pennsylvania communities about the lack of flexibility to use IIJA AML funding to clean up water polluted by acid mine drainage (AMD), Senator Casey pushed Secretary of the Interior Deb Holland and introduced and passed the STREAM Act. The STEAM Act allows states more flexibility to use infrastructure law funding to clean up acid mine drainage, which pollutes Pennsylvania’s rivers and streams, and address other long-term impacts of abandoned mine land.

In addition to voting to pass the infrastructure law, in April 2021, Casey introduced legislation to extend AML cleanup funding and to provide a boost for coal reclamation projects that provide economic development and growth in communities impacted by the downturn in the coal industry. Senator Casey also fought to pass the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which included his provision to provide a tax credit for clean energy projects built in energy communities like those in Pennsylvania. A 2023 report shows that, since the passage of the IRA, energy communities are leading the Nation in new clean energy investment.

Senator Casey is also fighting for specific projects in PA coal communities including Clearfield County’s Mineral Basin solar project. In March 2024, Senator Casey delivered $900 million from the infrastructure law to build solar facilities on former mine lands in Clearfield County. This project is expected to produce enough energy to power 70,000 homes per year.