When Are Abandoned Mine Lands Funds Released?

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.

Where does the funding come from to reclaim land after mining has finished?

OSMRE is the federal office responsible for administering SMCRA in coordination with eligible states and tribes. The balance of the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund is provided by fees collected on coal mining operators in coal producing states.

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.

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What is reclaiming abandoned land mines?

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. The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) of 1977, as amended, created this program.

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.

Can mined land be returned to a better than original condition?

Reclamation processes When mining ends, operators must restore the land to its approximate original contour (AOC) or leave the land graded and suitable for a “ higher and better ” post- mining land use (PMLU) that has been approved as part of the original mining permit application.

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.

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Is the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act successful?

This is the true success of SMCRA. About 29.5 billion tons of coal have been mined while SMCRA has been in place. Most of that, about 90 percent, was used to generate electrical power. During this same time, the coal mining industry has successfully reclaimed more than 2 million acres (2,238,560) of mined lands.

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.

What environmental costs are associated with mining?

Mining adversely affects the environment by inducing loss of biodiversity, soil erosion, and contamination of surface water, groundwater, and soil. Mining can also trigger the formation of sinkholes.

What happens to land after mining?

In addition to physical landscape damage, mining operations create sediment containing heavy metals which settle into surrounding soil, or are carried by wind or water to contaminate rivers or other land areas. These metals aren’t biodegradable so the soil stays contaminated without corrective action.

What is the most likely benefit of remediating abandoned mines?

The study island answer is ” Remediating the mines keeps the contaminants from entering a watershed.” Explanation: Many contaminants, particularly heavy metals, pollute the area around abandoned mines. If these contaminants enter the watershed, they can kill many organisms that live in that environment.

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How often must mine reclamation plans be updated?

Reclamation plan required prior to mining, updated periodically (e.g., every 5 years) or prior to significant changes to mine (e.g., expansion or closure) or site conditions (e.g., forest fire).

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