AML Reclamation Program
The reauthorized AML Reclamation Program, funded by the federal AML Reclamation Fund, allows states and tribes to abate problems caused by historic coal mining (that which ceased prior to May 18, 1982). AML problems are prioritized based on their degree of hazard and the annual grant amount of AML reclamation funding that KYDAML receives is based on a formula that incorporates historic coal production and current coal production. As a result, annual distributions from the AML Reclamation Fund rise and fall in conjunction with changes in the amount of coal currently mined. The recently announced Bipartisan Infrastructure Legislation, or BIL, provides KYDAML with a second funding source (BIL funding) to address prioritized hazards related to historic (AML-eligible) coal mining. Rather than being subject to the variations in the coal market like AML Reclamation fund distributions, the amount of BIL funding awarded will be the same every year.
Water Supply Replacement Program
Both the reauthorized AML Reclamation funding and BIL funding allow for the administration of the Water Supply Replacement Program. A portion of each of these annual funding sources can be utilized for the purpose of protecting, repairing, replacing, constructing, and/or enhancing facilities related to water supplies adversely affected by historic coal mining practices.
Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) Abatement Program
AML funding may be “set aside”, when possible, to develop and implement projects under the AMD Abatement Program. The AMD Abatement Program utilizes AMD “set aside” funds (set aside from the AML Reclamation Fund) for projects to abate eligible AMD problems (acidic water drainage from coalmine-disturbed areas) that negatively affect the environment.
Abandoned Mine Lands Economic Revitalization (AMLER) Program
KY DAML also administers the AMLER Program, established in 2016. This Program is funded via general federal treasury funds (aka AMLER funds), rather than from the AML Reclamation Fund. AMLER funds are utilized to design, develop, and implement projects that create and encourage economic development in Appalachian communities impacted by the downturn in the coal economy. To be eligible for AMLER funding, a grantee must have their AMLER project proposal application selected by the Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) Secretary for submittal to the federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) for their vetting (i.e. conceptual) approval. The primary programmatic requirements for the acceptance of an AMLER grant project proposal are that the project site have a geographic connection to AML-eligible coal mining, be in an Appalachian county, NOT on currently coal-mine-permitted lands, create jobs, and provide economic development opportunities.
Bond Forfeiture Reclamation Program
The Bond Forfeiture (BF) Reclamation Program focuses on the reclamation of coal mine sites where the permitted coal operator failed to comply with Federal and State Laws regarding mining and/or reclamation practices. Forfeited reclamation performance bonds, used to offset the cost for reclamation at a site, fund this Program. This funding is applied via the individual bonds associated with a forfeited permit and via the Kentucky Reclamation Guaranty Fund (KRGF). The KRGF serves as the repository for post-2014 forfeited bonds and KY DAML coordinates with the KRGF oversight authority (the KRGF Commission) to ensure adequate reclamation funding is available.