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Expiring federal Abandoned Mine Land fee authorization means uncertainty for reclamation efforts

By Mike Tony, Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Federal authority to collect reclamation fees on abandoned mine land expired Thursday, leaving the program in a precarious state even as its funding pool remains available.

The Abandoned Mine Land program that addresses dangerous conditions and pollution caused by past coal mining has not been reauthorized.

The U.S. House of Representatives had not approved a bill advanced by the Senate last month that would reauthorize and extend the fee levied on coal companies that funds the reclamation program for mine land abandoned before 1977, as of press time Thursday.

That’s the next step needed to send the measure before President Joe Biden for his approval.

The U.S. Department of the Interior announced $18.9 million for West Virginia to reclaim abandoned mine lands in March. More than $8 billion has been distributed to states for reclamation projects since the passage of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act established the program in 1977…

To read more:https://www.wvgazettemail.com/news/energy_and_environment/expiring-federal-abandoned-mine-land-fee-authorization-means-uncertainty-for-reclamation-efforts/article_1458850c-7ced-5cc1-a3e6-d40aec6ed6b0.html

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