Saturday, May 21, 2022


The election fraud movement resurfaces on the campaign trail, Vice President Harris and abortion providers discuss an action plan, and as New Mexico's wildfires rage, nearby states face high fire danger.


Pennsylvania's Republican U.S. Senate Primary still too close to call, a $40 billion Ukraine aid bill is headed to President Biden's desk, and Oklahoma passes the strictest abortion bill in the country.


From off-Broadway to West Virginia: the stories of the deadly Upper Big Branch mine explosion, baby formula is on its way back to grocery shelves, and federal funds will combat consolidation in meatpacking.

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


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
Over the past two years, pro-democracy groups say more than 30 states have proposed nearly 230 laws viewed as an attempt to undermine elections. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Examples of proposed policies and candidates tied to false claims of election fraud have spread to Minnesota, and a new national report found the …


New Mexico continues to battle the largest wildfires in its history, and other states including Nevada, along with parts of Arizona and Colorado…

Social Issues

A new museum exhibition in Baltimore opening to the public today aims to tell the story of Maryland's fight for civil rights, both in the past and …

The Federation of Virginia Food Banks' seven regional food banks distributed approximately 165 million pounds of food in 2021. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Virginia's food banks are facing a perfect storm of issues. High inflation for everyday goods is driving up food costs for lower-income families…

Health and Wellness

Vice President Kamala Harris met with abortion providers from Missouri and other restrictive states Thursday to consider ways the Biden administration…

The fatality rate for Black bike riders is 30% higher than for white bike riders, according to the League of American Bicyclists. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Today is National Bike to Work Day, and while it may sound "easier said than done," it may not be as daunting as you think. Enthusiasts said the …


Connecticut is celebrating its first estuary reserve, which will help identify environmental threats to waterways and natural resources. …

Health and Wellness

A new report urges states to take steps to minimize Medicaid coverage loss when the state of emergency for the pandemic comes to an end. COVID …


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