Jun 06 2018
WASHINGTON, DC -- Kentucky's successful Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Pilot Program is one step closer to receiving a fourth round of federal funding, thanks to U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05), who helped launch the initiative in 2016 to rehabilitate and revitalize AML sites in struggling coal-producing communities for economic development and tourism-related projects.
The U.S. House Appropriations Committee approved the fiscal year 2019 Interior and Environment federal funding bill today, including $90 million for the AML Pilot Program. Under the measure, Kentucky would be eligible for an additional $30 million for state-administered grants. Since 2016, Rogers has secured $80 million in federal funding for Kentucky, providing critical funding for coal communities hardest hit by the downturn of the coal industry.
"This pilot program is one of the most successful job creation and tourism initiatives that we've ever had in Eastern Kentucky," said Congressman Rogers. "So far, funding has been awarded for projects in ten different counties with several more proposals awaiting final approval. It allows local leaders to work with entrepreneurs and other visionaires to bring dream projects to reality."
"For example, the new Kentucky Enterprise Industrial Park in Pike County will soon be home to three new businesses and create over 1,000 new long-term, sustainable jobs, thanks to seed funding through an AML Pilot Grant," continued Rogers. "Bell, Breathitt, Clay, Floyd and Magoffin counties have also been awarded funding for tourism-related projects that will create new jobs and attract more people to visit our region. Leslie, Harlan, Johnson and Martin counties have also been awarded grant funding to improve infrastructure or improve economic development here at home. Additional projects are in the pipeline and it appears more funding will soon be on the way, upon final congressional approval."
Kentucky will also benefit from other components of the FY19 Interior Appropriations bill, including:
- EPA Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds – The bill includes a total of $2.557 billion, including $1.013 billion for the Drinking Water fund and $1.544 billion for the Clean Water fund.
- Office of Surface Mining (OSM)/AML Regulatory Grants – The bill includes $68.59 million, which is equal to the 2018 enacted level.
- Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act Funds – The bill includes $75 million, which is $12 million more than the President’s budget request.
- Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule – The bill repeals the Obama Administration’s 2015 job-killing WOTUS Rule.
- Federal Payments to Local Communities – The bill provides $500 million for “Payments In Lieu of Taxes” (PILT), which is $35 million above the budget request. PILT provides funds for local governments in 49 states to help offset losses in property taxes due to non-taxable federal lands within their counties.
- Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) – The bill provides $360 million for LWCF programs, such as state and local recreation and battlefield preservation programs.
For the text of the bill, please visit:
For the bill report, please visit: