Gov. Beshear Announces More Than $74 Million Coming to Kentucky To Clean Up Historic Mine Sites; $29 Million for Job Creation

Government and Politics

June 6, 2024

From: Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear

FRANKFORT, KY - On June 6, 2024, Gov. Andy Beshear announced that Kentucky will receive more than $74 million in federal funds to continue cleaning up hazards left by historic mining and $28.67 million to support economic development and job creation in Eastern Kentucky.

The $74,217,023 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) award, issued through the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, is the third round of 15 years of the funding that will go to the state to rebuild ailing water infrastructure and address water supply issues.

“This program has already done much to protect Kentucky homes and make communities safer,” Gov. Beshear said. “The new round of funding will allow us to get to areas that sorely need it.”

With these grants, the state has begun and/or completed more than 40 projects in 15 counties totaling almost $45 million dollars. Projects were located in Bell, Boyd, Breathitt, Floyd, Harlan, Hopkins, Johnson, Knott, Leslie, Letcher, Ohio, Perry, Pike, Webster and Whitley counties.

Projects that are eligible to receive BIL funding in Kentucky are those affected by coal mining that ceased prior to May 18, 1982. The state prioritizes projects based on the severity of the hazard.

Gov. Beshear and U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) also announced that $28.67 million is available to Eastern Kentucky communities in 2024 through the federal Abandoned Mine Lands Economic Revitalization (AMLER) grant program to support economic development and job creation.

“These grants help our innovative, hard-working Appalachian communities by giving a boost to projects that create hundreds of jobs and a strong economic future for families,” Gov. Beshear said. “It’s an example of what we do best – find homegrown solutions that build a strong foundation for generations.”

The AMLER program has awarded nearly $225 million to 86 projects in 25 Eastern Kentucky counties since it was established in 2016 by Congressman Rogers to help coal-producing states recover from the downturn of the coal industry. When completed, these projects are projected to create more than 3,000 new jobs for the region.

“This year, the AMLER funding will be fast-tracked to Kentucky. We are cutting through unnecessary red tape by requiring the Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation Enforcement to send funding directly to each state within 90 days,” said Congressman Rogers, Dean of the House. “We are ending lengthy delays to help coal communities jump-start their local projects.

“The AMLER program has invested much needed funds in Kentucky coal communities, and I’m pleased that the process will now be streamlined.”

The request for funding is highly competitive. This year, the Kentucky Division of Abandoned Mine Lands received 81 applications seeking over $207 million for the roughly $25 million in program funds. Awards for applications received by the April deadline are expected to be announced later this year.

“I’ve been privileged to see firsthand some of these projects as they transform lives and make communities more vibrant,” Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman said. “I am excited to see what can be done with this new funding.”

Contractors who are interested in working with the Division of Abandoned Mine Lands should visit EEC’s Website for more information or see the Finance Cabinet Planroom for upcoming projects.

Information about the AMLER program can be found at AMLER or by contacting Jim Cable, director, Kentucky Division of Abandoned Mine Lands, 300 Sower Boulevard, Frankfort, KY 40601. Office: 502-782-9913, e-mail: [email protected].