This January, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) announced it was extending the Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Reclamation Fund program through 2034. This extension provides continued funding to states and Tribes for reclaiming hazardous abandoned mines, replacing polluted water supplies, and reducing legacy pollution in coalfield communities and abandoned hardrock mine lands. In addition to this extension, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law enacted in November 2021 authorized 11.293 billion dollars to be deposited into the AML Reclamation Fund, providing an exciting opportunity for those impacted.
This funding presents new grant opportunities for those considering closing, reclaiming, remediating, or repurposing a mine. The mine reclamation process can be complex, involving communication and planning on multiple levels—from permitting and environmental surveys (archeology, cultural, and biological) to environmental site assessments (soils, air, and water) and engineering/hydrology design.
Senior Mining Consultant Dennis Oakley, who has more than 35 years of experience in underground coal mining, environmental regulation/mine permitting, reclamation, and environmental and civil engineering, understands the opportunities as well as the potential pitfalls common to a mine reclamation project. “Not recognizing all the stakeholders involved can result in costly project delays,” Dennis says. “Barr has the resources to help navigate all levels of planning for these projects, including grant tracking, partnering, and stakeholder engagement; permitting; environmental site assessment and treatment; demolition and reclamation planning and design; and project management assistance.”
About Dennis Oakley
Dennis Oakley’s background in the mining industry spans more than 35 years and includes a decade of work in underground coal mining. He has a particular passion for transforming inactive minelands into new mining operations, renewable-energy sites, and public recreation areas or returning sites to their pre-mining condition.