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Abandoned Mine Land DMLR Twitter

Virginia’s Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Program was established in the late 1970’s to correct pre-federal Act (1977) coal mine related problems adversely impacting public health, safety, general welfare, and the environment

Abandoned mine land related problems include landslides, stream sedimentation, hazardous structures, dangerous highwalls, subsidence, loss of water, acid mine drainage, and open mine portals. AML sites eligible for reclamation must have been mined prior to December 15, 1981. There must also be no other individual, firm, or organization responsible to reclaim the site

DMME’s Division of Mined Land Reclamation (DMLR) annually applies for a grant from the U.S. Office of Surface Mining (OSM) to reclaim high priority AML sites across the state. Grant funds are used to design reclamation plans, obtain consents for rights of entry, publish public notices in local newspapers to advertise for construction contractors, and to ensure the site is reclaimed and the problems abated according to the engineering design. Grant funds come from fees paid by the coal industry on each ton of coal mined.

Widely recognized as one of the best AML programs in the nation, OSM has selected several Virginia AML projects for national awards. Virginia is nationally recognized for its innovative accomplishments in reclaiming abandoned coal mine land.

For additional information contact (276) 523-8206 or

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            Lee County Outdoor Classroom and Community Park Receives Grants

    The Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, in conjunction with the Daniel Boone Soil and Water Conservation District and the US Fish and Wildlife Service, aided in the development of an outdoor classroom and community park site. The park site is under construction adjacent to Straight Creek near St. Charles in the Stone Creek community of Lee County. Keep Southwest Virginia Beautiful received a $20,000.00 grant from Keep America Beautiful and Lowes. This grant amount was added to the $196,000.00 previously awarded to the Upper Tennessee River Round Table (a nonprofit organization focusing on pollution prevention and improvement projects). The initial grant from the US Fish and Wildlife Service funds was from a settlement established after a toxic spill into the Powell River. This grant acquired the land, reclaimed the site, and constructed the stream restoration and the outdoor classroom. The project is located on a former coal transfer station site near St. Charles. The Virginia Department of Mines Minerals and Energy aided with the site plans and development. The land now belongs to Lee County. Grants were also received from Appalachian Coal Country Team Reforestation Project, the LG&E KU Plant for the Planet organization and Pizza Inn of Abingdon.

            Reinvesting In The North Fork Powell River Watershed

    The North Fork Powell River Watershed project has improved water quality for residents by reducing pollution entering local streams from abandoned mine lands. Partners; Lee County Board of Supervisors, Daniel Boone Soil and Water Conservation District, and Virginia Department of Mines Minerals and Energy along with funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Natural Resources Conservation Service provided $259,672 in Recovery Act funds and the sponsors provided $149,054 for a total of $408,726 to treat five Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) sites. The treatment of these sites has been so successful that the state is contributing another one million dollars to treat six additional sites. This collaborative venture has improved the North Fork Powell River Watershed and helped create a better place to live.
                  North Fork Powell River Watershed ARRA Project - August, 2013 Announcement


            Abandoned Mined Land - Feature Descriptions

    Abandoned Mine Land (AML) features are both potential Environmental and Public Safety Hazards. In the event you discover
    a possible AML feature please use caution; then contact us here at the Division of Mined Land Reclamation (276) 523-8100,
    or contact the AML section directly at (276) 523-8206 or
                   AML Features - (PDF)

            Watershed Restoration

    Abandoned Mine Land (AML) program's watershed restoration projects are selected, designed and constructed using a holistic approach. Watersheds are selected for restoration work based upon priorities established by the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy and a number stakeholders, including other state and federal agencies and the public. Watershed projects are conducted in cooperation with the following agencies.

    Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation

    Virginia Department of Environmental Quality

    Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

    LENOWISCO Planning District Commission

    The Nature Conservancy

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

    U.S. Office of Surface Mining

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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