On May 16, 2019, the third round of funding through Virginia‘s Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Pilot Program.
The $10 million in economic redevelopment grants is available for projects in southwest Virginia that reclaim abandoned mine land features while continuing to help diversify and revitalize the economy of the region.
The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) will oversee the grants, which are funded through the federal Power Plus Pilot Program. Projects completed with the funds should be designed to boost the economy through strategies that include job creation, infrastructure improvements, broadband access, agriculture, and an increase in tourism in southwest Virginia’s coalfields. Projects must also improve the environment through the reclamation of historic mining features.
“The flexibility of this program provides for some very broad and unique economic development projects,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “We look forward to funding new projects that will increase revenue in the coalfields through development of new business models and expansion of the region’s tremendous natural tourism assets.”
An advisory group made up of state and local economic development leaders will review all proposals and submit the selected projects to the Office of Surface Mining for final approval. The pilot program and the project application process will be announced in Summer, 2019.
Photo of historic abandoned mine via Adobe Stock.