One-third of the Nation’s abandoned mine land is in Pennsylvania, approximately 43 of Pennsylvania's 67 counties are affected by abandoned coal mines
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) is announcing Pennsylvania will receive $244 million this year in funding for abandoned mine land cleanup as a result of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The funding will create good-paying jobs in rural and energy communities in Pennsylvania while reclaiming abandoned mine lands and addressing the hazards and environmental pollution posed by legacy mining sites.
“Pennsylvania’s coal industry built and powered our Nation for decades. Now these communities bear the brunt of abandoned mine land pollution, including ravaged landscapes, property damage and poor health,” said Senator Casey. “For too long we’ve neglected the pressing needs of communities blighted by abandoned and polluted mines. This funding is just the start of what the infrastructure law will bring to Pennsylvania communities to address vital abandoned mine land and water reclamation projects, clean legacy pollution, create jobs and improve Pennsylvanians’ quality of life. I will keep fighting to bring home infrastructure investments to the Commonwealth and to ensure we are able to remediate acid mine drainage, ensuring all Pennsylvania families have access to clean water.”
As one of the largest coal producing states in the country, Pennsylvania is now disproportionately impacted by abandoned mine lands and the environmental impacts. One-third of the Nation’s abandoned mine land is in Pennsylvania, as tracked by the Department of Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Abandoned Mine Land Inventory System. 1.4 million Pennsylvanians live within one mile of an abandoned mine.
Senator Casey has been a strong advocate for abandoned mine cleanup. Senator Casey has pushed for additional flexibility to allow states to use the infrastructure funding to address acid mine drainage (AMD), which seeps in Pennsylvanians’ drinking water. Senator Casey spoke to Secretary Haaland about the need for additional flexibility during her visit to Swoyersville, PA, and he will continue to push the Administration to allow states to use their AMD set-aside programs to complete acid mine drainage reclamation. In addition to supporting the infrastructure law, he introduced legislation to extend abandoned mine land 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.
Between formula funding and grant eligibility in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Pennsylvania will be eligible to receive more than $3 billion over the next 15 years to clean up abandoned mine land and create a safer, healthier environment for all Pennsylvanians.