West Virginia, Kentucky awarded reclamation grants

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia was awarded more than $22 million and Kentucky more than $11 million in federal funding to clean up and repurpose abandoned coal mines in fiscal year 2020.

Interior Secretary David Bernhardt announced the grants from the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement last week.

The agency provides the grants to the 25 coal-producing states and three tribes based on past and current coal production, the Interior Department said in a news release.

The grants are funded in part by a fee collected on all coal produced in the U.S., the agency said. The funds have helped close over 45,000 abandoned underground mine shafts and openings, eliminate over 960 miles of dangerous highwalls and restore over 850,000 acres of clogged streams and land, the release said.

The total funding available to states and tribes for 2020 is more than $170 million, the release said.

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