Washington, DC- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that the Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mine Reclamation and Enforcement has awarded Pennsylvania $52,368,972.10 in funds to clean up abandoned coal mines. The funds could also help put out mine fires in parts of Northeastern Pennsylvania. In 2012, Senator Casey backed legislation to restore previous cuts to the Abandoned Mine Land Program which helps communities across the nation clean up abandoned mines.
“These funds will allow communities across Pennsylvania to make progress on cleaning up abandoned coal mines,” Senator Casey said. “Particularly in Northeastern Pennsylvania this investment can help municipal governments as they deal with coal fires burning in underground mines. I’ll continue to press Congress to dedicate the necessary funding for mine reclamation projects that create jobs and improve public health and safety.”
The 2014 Abandoned Mine Land (AML) grants enable 28 eligible states and tribes to help eliminate dangerous conditions and pollution caused by past coal mining. Since Congress enacted the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA), OSMRE has provided more than $7.8 billion to reclaim more than 370,000 acres of high-priority hazardous abandoned mine sites.