Often asked: How Much Money Is In The Abandoned Mined Lands Fund?

How much does it cost to reclaim land after mining 2020?

According to OSMRE, the states and tribes have estimated total unfunded costs for the reclamation of eligible sites of approximately $10.7 billion to date.

What can states do to reclaim abandoned mines?

Coal mine sites abandoned before 1977 may be reclaimed under the provisions of Title IV of SMCRA. Taxes on currently mined coal are redistributed to states and Indian tribes for the reclamation of abandoned coal mines and associated waters.

Why should mining companies receive fees for unclaimed lands?

The Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Reclamation Program uses fees paid by present-day coal mining companies to reclaim coal mines abandoned before 1977. This makes these areas safer for people and the environment.

What happens to coal mines when they are abandoned?

Across the US, two out of every three acres of reclaimed coal mines have been turned into some form of grassland, which regulators say is often disused. Only 18% was converted into farming, housing, industry or recreation, while 16% was left in a wilder state as forest or undeveloped land.

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How much does land reclamation cost?

Reclaimed land usually costs between $310,000 and $670,000 per hectare. If you compare this cost to the average cost of purchasing land (especially for commercial/residential purposes) in a big city, it’s in some locations at least 10 times more expensive to buy land, than to reclaim.

What are abandoned mine lands?

Abandoned mine lands (AMLs) are those lands, waters and surrounding watersheds where extraction, beneficiation or processing of ores and minerals has occurred. AMLs can pose serious threats to human health and the environment. The EPA conducts and supervises investigation and cleanup actions at a variety of mine sites.

How many abandoned mines are in the US?

There are approximately 500,000 abandoned hardrock mines in the United States, with an estimated cleanup cost as high as $54 billion.

What is an AML grant?

Abandoned Mine Land ( AML ) Grants States with an approved program, or specific Indian tribes, are eligible for Abandoned Mine Land grants. The funds come from fees paid by active coal mine operators on each ton of coal mined.

How do you restore land after mining?

After the coal is stripped, mine companies are legally required to do some restoration, which usually involves replacing the exploded soil and rock—rubble—covering it with a layer of topsoil, and seeding it with anything that will hold the ground together.

Why must a mining company reclaim a mine?

It ensures that coal mining operations are conducted in an environmentally responsible manner and that the land is adequately reclaimed during and following the mining process.

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What is the process of mine reclamation?

​ Reclamation is the combined process by which adverse environmental effects of surface mining are minimized and mined lands are returned to a beneficial end use. Some components of reclamation include practices that control erosion and sedimentation, stablize slopes, and avoid and repair impacts to wildlife habitat.

What are abandoned coal mines?

“Those lands, waters, and surrounding watersheds contaminated or scarred by extraction, beneficiation or processing of ores and minerals, including phosphate but not coal *. Abandoned mine lands include areas where mining or processing activity is temporarily inactive.”

How many people died in abandoned mines?

Every year, many people are killed or hurt at abandoned mine sites. In 2000–2013 alone, 381 people were killed; 152 people suffered broken bones and other injuries. Across the country, abandoned mines exist in every state. Even a mine that was “safe” last year could be deadly today due to deteriorating conditions.

Do abandoned mines still have gold?

Today, only a handful of mines produce gold in California — a $13 million industry last year. But many of those abandoned mines still exist.

What happens to old open pit mines?

Once production on a mine stops, a small labour force remains behind to shut down and decommission the site. This involves removing completely the machinery that can be, or needs to be, removed. Often this is taken to another site or sold.

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