Abandoned Mine Land
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.