Ohio to receive $46.4 million this year under abandoned mine recovery program
Ohio is slated to receive $46.4 million this year to recover land from abandoned coal mining operations, according to a release from the US Department of Interior.
The program would allow the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to fund a wide array of statewide programs aimed at reclaiming surface land polluted or altered by coal mining operations that have since been abandoned.
According to the ODNR, such abandoned mining operations left over a million acres of land to face extensive environmental issues, including acid drainage, sediment deposition, sinkholes, landslides, and polluted water supplies.
The ODNR also says that over 100,000 acres of abandoned mine land are in need of "major reclamation efforts" due to these concerns.
Abandoned mining operations are located across the eastern portion of the state, with an ODNR map of abandoned mining operations showing most locations along the Ohio River in Columbiana, Jefferson, and Belmont counties. Mahoning, Harrison, Stark, and Tuscarawas counties also appear to contain significant numbers of abandoned mining operations that may be eligible to receive grants from this new round of funding.
The Abandoned Mine Land funds were allocated in an $11.3-billion dollar addition to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to be appropriated over 15 years. Overall, based on historical coal production numbers, Ohio stands to receive $696 million by 2036.
Ohio is the fifth highest-funded state under the program, joining Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Illinois, and Kentucky in receiving more than 80% of the program's total funds.