MONTGOMERY – Cullman County is among those eligible to apply for grant money to reclaim and develop abandoned coal mine land. Sec. of Labor Fitzgerald Washington announced this week that The Alabama Department of Labor’s Abandoned Mine Land Program (ADOL AML) will soon be taking applications for a second round of $10 million in grant funding available for AML related economic development projects. Applications are expected to be accepted in the fall of 2018.
The economic development projects must be located on or adjacent to coal mine sites that ceased operations prior to the signing of the Surface Mine Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) on August 3, 1977. Counties eligible for projects include Bibb, Blount, Cherokee, Cullman, DeKalb, Etowah, Fayette, Franklin, Jackson, Jefferson, Lamar, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Shelby, St. Clair, Tuscaloosa, Walker and Winston.
Pilot Program Guidance/Requirements from the US Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation, and Enforcement (OSMRE), and Grant Applications from ADOL AML, which contain additional information on the grant funding, will be posted on the ADOL AML website (www.labor.alabama.gov/Inspections/Mining/reclamation.aspx) as soon as they become available.
Since 2017, three projects have received a total of $10 million dollars in grant funding through this program. Those projects are in Jefferson and Shelby counties and include the Southern Museum of Flight’s relocation to the Grand River Technology Park situated near Barber Motorsports and The Bass Pro Shop near Leeds, Alabama.
“These critical projects will help improve the lives of people who live near or on abandoned mine land sites and will help to promote jobs, tourism, and other economic development,” said Washington. “I encourage any group who has a plan to develop an abandoned mine land site to apply for this grant funding. Whether the project is big or small, they’re all important.”
The grant funding, provided by the federal government, is being administered by ADOL AML and all funding must be approved by the OSMRE.