From a Rep. Nick Rahall Release
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Nick J. Rahall (D-W.Va.) Thursday announced that the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement has released $66.5 million in Abandoned Mine Land (AML) funding to the State of West Virginia.

 
            “This new funding, the most ever granted to our State under this program, will enable us to continue the good work of restoring our mined lands, while also creating job opportunities for West Virginians,” Rahall said. “I have always defended the AML program as key to achieving that balance we seek in coal country, enabling us to keep miners employed while preserving our coal mining communities and the safety of area residents.”
 
Funding for AML grants comes from coal receipts and is distributed through a congressionally mandated formula.  The AML program was created through the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 to pay for the cleanup of lands mined but left unreclaimed prior to its enactment. 
Rahall is a longtime champion of the AML program, repeatedly pushing through legislation to keep the program operating, having most recently successfully won passage of legislation to reauthorize and revitalize the program in 2006. 
“This new higher level of AML monies is made possible by increased funding mandated through the legislation I worked on in 2006.  Restoring our mined lands makes our communities more livable today and more prosperous tomorrow,” said Rahall.