Monday, August 15, 2022

Play

President Biden this week is poised to sign into law sweeping legislation that addresses climate change and prescription drug costs; Measuring the Supreme Court abortion decision's impact in the corporate world; Disaster recovery for Eastern Kentucky businesses.

Play

Federal officials warn about threats against law enforcement; Democrats push their climate, health, and tax bill through Congress; and a new report reveals 800 Americans were evacuated during the Afghanistan withdrawal.

Play

Infrastructure funding is on its way, ranchers anticipate money from the Inflation Reduction Act, and rural America is becoming more diverse, but you wouldn't know it by looking at the leadership.

Mine Reclamation Funding: A 'Game Changer' for Eastern Ohio

Play

Monday, December 20, 2021   

Efforts to rectify the lingering environmental legacy of coal mining in Ohio are getting a big financial boost.

The new federal infrastructure law includes $11.3 billion to fund abandoned mine cleanup in 25 states.

In Ohio, there are more than 3,400 abandoned mines, according to the Department of Natural Resources, posing health and safety risks to people and the environment.

Marissa Lautzenheiser, director of northern programs for the group Rural Action, cited lists of potential projects where the estimated $550 million Ohio will receive would be well-spent.

"This is a game changer," Lautzenheiser asserted. "The landscape of eastern Ohio is going to look a lot different in five years, let alone in ten years, than it would have without this investment."

She pointed out the funding is especially important for Ohio communities hit hard by the coal industry decline, because it will create 730 jobs, nearly $2 billion in economic output and $660 million in labor income.

Since the federal Abandoned Mine Lands Program was created in 1977, roughly 978,000 acres and $8 billion worth of damage has been cleaned up in the region. But it represents only about one-fourth of the total damage.

Lautzenheiser noted the thousands of remaining unclaimed sites have continual issues.

"If you build your home adjacent to or on an underground mine, you can find your basement floor collapsing into air shafts," Lautzenheiser outlined. "You can have acid mine drainage, where the water in the stream in your backyard is actually orange because of iron and other heavy metals."

Dana Kuhnline, legislative coordinator for the group Appalachian Voices, said with a large influx of money, the goal is to address the environmental hazards.

"State agencies and the local reclamation partners have all been pretty strapped," Kuhnline acknowledged. "They've been doing a lot of what I've heard described as 'chasing landslides.' So, they're only able to address the most severe or dangerous incidences of abandoned mine lands that are in communities."

The full cost of reclaiming all remaining abandoned mine land nationwide is expected to exceed $20 billion, according to the Ohio Valley River Institute.


get more stories like this via email
In 2021, damages from floods and other severe weather in the United States exceeded $145 billion. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

In the wake of historic summer floods in the Midwest and Appalachia, there are calls for a new national plan to reduce risks from disasters. The …


Social Issues

Small businesses that suffered damage or destruction from the recent historic flooding in Eastern Kentucky can get one-on-one assistance as they try t…

Environment

The Inflation Reduction Act, newly passed by the U.S. Senate, allocates $369 Billion to fight climate change, and appropriates funds specifically for …


Social Issues

By Linda Burstyn for Ms. Magazine Broadcast version by Roz Brown for New Mexico News Connection/Public News Service Bad Business: Anti-abortion …

In Pennsylvania's Nov. 8 General Election, voters will decide races for governor, U.S. House and Senate, and several state offices. (Zimmytws/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Opening up Pennsylvania's primary elections to voters who aren't registered either as Democrats or Republicans is the topic of a State House of Repres…

Social Issues

August is National Black Business Month, and this year, for Black-owned companies in Pennsylvania that have managed to survive through the pandemic…

Social Issues

On August 27, members of the public will have a rare opportunity to visit the historic Padlock Ranch first developed for livestock in 1867, now …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021