Feds give Pennsylvania $244M for mine land problems

by Anthony Hennen at justthenews.com

(The Center Square) – Pennsylvania’s orphan oil and gas well problem has gotten much attention in recent months.

So too has the commonwealth’s legacy of hazardous mine lands. Now, the federal government is sending hundreds of millions of dollars to deal with them.

This week, the Department of the Interior announced $244 million will come into Pennsylvania to reclaim mining lands that still present risks to humans and nature alike.

“Overall, this funding is expected to enable the reclamation of nearly all current inventoried abandoned mine lands in this country,” Department of Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said at a press conference in Bovard, where stabilization work is ongoing to avoid mine subsidence that threaten homes in the community.

Subsidence is the movement of the ground surface that follows the collapse of underground mines. Damage usually comes to homes in the form of wall deformations, cracking, and windows and doors not opening or closing properly. Sinkholes can also form from mine subsidence.

Pennsylvania will receive almost one-third of the federal money available this year, $725 million, for dealing with mine lands. The Biden administration, Haaland said, will spend more than $11 billion on abandoned mine land remediation in the coming years.

“There will be many more years of reliable funding that Pennsylvania can count on in the future,” she said. “These funds will support vitally needed jobs for coal communities by funding all types of reclamation projects which, in turn, will help revitalize entire local communities.”