There’s nothing like mutual respect, cooperation, and concern for your neighbor to get the job done.
Energy and Environment Cabinet Scientist Carl Hays says that’s exactly the type of solidarity the Division of Abandoned Mine Lands takes into each and every project, including cleanup efforts following a recent landslide in Clay County.
Report of the slide came in mid-late January. Debris from the slide was blocking the only access property owner Linda Donato and her family had to a home they were building on Ky-638. Flattening everything within its path, the mudslide also interrupted water and electricity access and put a halt to their construction.
by Robin Hartman
June 18, 2020 - Land Air Water
As an Environmental Control Supervisor with the Division of Abandoned Mine Lands (AML), Scott Muncy walks the hills of eastern Kentucky daily, helping property owners with issues that sometimes arise on or near the state’s former coal fields.
“I get out here, especially in the spring when the trees are blooming, and I think, ‘Wow, they actually pay me to do this!’” he said.
Like so many of the critical services provided by Kentucky’s Energy and Environment Cabinet, Muncy’s work doesn’t stop as the country deals with the coronavirus pandemic. Abandoned mine sites can present hazards such as water-filled pits, open mine portals and conditions that make landslides more likely.
by Robin Hartman
April 14, 2020 - Land Air Water
WASHINGTON - U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt announced the availability of Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Reclamation grants through the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE). A total of $170.9 million in grants will be provided this year for states and tribes to reclaim and repurpose abandoned coal lands.
“AML grants provide states, tribes and local partners with important resources to reclaim lands and waters impacted by abandoned mines, restoring the promise of the outdoors for hardworking Americans in coal country,” said Secretary Bernhardt.
“OSMRE is proud to announce today the 2020 AML grants availability,” said Principal Deputy Director exercising the authority of the OSMRE Director Lanny E. Erdos. “These grants will continue to ensure our state and tribal partners have the resources needed to continue their decades of successful work on our nation's AML sites.”
OSMRE provides AML grants to the 25 coal-producing states and three tribes based on a congressionally mandated formula that evaluates past and current coal production by these entities. Each year, after the distribution is announced, eligible states and tribes apply for annual reclamation grants to access money in their allocations. OSMRE evaluates and verifies the requests and makes the award amounts available.
U.S. Department of the Interior - February 6, 2020
The Lane Report - September 6, 2019
PIKEVILLE, Ky. — U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers and Gov. Matt Bevin announced Friday 20 grants totaling $34.4 million to spur economic development and job creation in Eastern Kentucky.
Projects impacting 14 counties were selected for grants through the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet’s Division of Abandoned Mine Lands, as part of the Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) Pilot Program to revitalize the coalfields in Kentucky’s Appalachian region through economic development.
All projects were unveiled at the 2019 Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) Summit in Pikeville by Bevin and Rogers, who has championed $425 million in federal funding for the AML Pilot Program since 2016, alongside U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY). $105 million of the program funds have been awarded to Kentucky.
The federal RECLAIM Act, legislation to boost economic transition efforts in the nation’s coal communities by accelerating the release of $1 billion for mine reclamation projects tied to local economic development efforts, is expected to be re-introduced in the new Congress in mid-April.
Posted by: KFTC staff on March 30, 2019
Big money attracts big interests in Washington, D.C. The Abandoned Mine Land fund (AML), which collects and disburses billions of dollars to reclaim abandoned coal mines, is no exception.
Congress, unions and other special interests have repeatedly attempted to tap into the fund’s large reserves for their own benefit. Congress is currently attempting to throw funding meant for abandoned mines toward “economic revitalization,” which would threaten the fund’s reclamation objective. Vigilant resistance to these changes is the only thing preventing the AML from turning into a slush fund.
THE HILL - BY ARTHUR R. WARDLE, OPINION CONTRIBUTOR
Locations To Place Fill In Eastern Kentucky
DAML is seeking locations in eastern Kentucky to place fill material. DAML reclamation projects often generate large quantities of earth and rock suitable for fill material. DAML will generate, deliver, place, grade and revegetate the material for the landowner free of charge. All work is supervised by DAML engineering personnel who will also obtain any necessary permits. Suitable locations are previously disturbed areas, approximately one acre or larger, relatively level, outside the floodplain and void of trees. Previously mined areas are ideal. Contact Robert Cammack or Samantha Hall at 502-564-2141 if you are interested.