(The Center Square) – Alabama is receiving an infusion of federal funds to address abandoned mine lands.
Through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, President Joe Biden said Alabama is poised to receive $20,450,847 in federal funding that is to be used to create good-paying union jobs in an effort to catalyze economic opportunity in the state by reclaiming abandoned coal mines.
The funding would be used to clean up hazardous sites, according to the release, while at the same time address environmental injustices in the state.
Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, in a release, said it its an investment to clean up environmental hazards that are harming communities.
“Reclaiming and restoring these sites will create jobs, revitalize economic activity, and advance outdoor recreation,” she said. “I am so excited about what we can do with these new resources, today and for future generations.”
According to the release, millions of Americans live just 1 mile from an abandoned coal mine or orphaned oil or gas well. The law provided $11.3 billion over a span of 15 years to address the issue.
Abandoned Mine Lands reclamation, according to the release, sustains jobs in coal communities through investments in projects that close dangerous mine shafts, reclaim unstable slopes, improve water quality through treatment of acid mine drainage, and also restores water supplies that were damaged through mining.
Reclaims lands, according to the release, are then used for recreational facilities or economic revitalization. Federal dollars under the plan will be prioritized to projects that employ dislocated coal miners.