Congress Passes Reauthorization of Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fee
Pennsylvania will receive nearly $1.5 billion in federal funding from an account created to help states reclaim Abandoned Mine Lands thanks to legislation passed by the U.S. Congress before it adjourned.
The legislation was passed with the help of the entire Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation, but especially outgoing U.S. Senator Rick Santorum and Congressman John E. Peterson (R-Pleasantville).
The AML language the Congressed passed will allow
Annual AML funding to
All told, the AML’s new funding formula would allow state and local officials to reclaim and recover nearly all of
“This is the most important economic development and environmental legislation to affect our state and other historic coal production states that has ever passed,” said John Dawes, chairman of the Pennsylvania AML Campaign, a coalition of 200 conservation and watershed associations. “This is life-saving legislation that goes beyond addressing the health impacts of living near these sites,” adding that more people have died in the past four years as a result of dangerous abandoned mine lands than in oft-publicized underground mining accidents.
The AML Fund was created nearly 30 years ago to finance the cleanup of hazardous abandoned mine sites across the country.
“Finally, and thankfully, we now have commonsense legislation that will go a very long way to fixing the long-standing problems of abandoned mine lands and waters across our state,” said
“It’s a new day in
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