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Gov. Justice, WVDEP Sec. Caperton announce $27.1 Million in AML Economic Development Grant Projects

CHARLESTON, WV – Yesterday, Gov. Jim Justice and West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) Sec. Austin Caperton held a virtual ceremony to announce the recommendation of 12 projects that will utilize $27,196,483 in federal grant funding for economic development of abandoned mine land sites across the state.

“This is a lot of money and it could really and truly go a long way,” Gov. Justice said. “Hopefully it’ll do a lot of great things in the areas where the work will be happening – we have a lot of great things happening in West Virginia.”

The grants, provided through the U.S. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), are administered by the WVDEP’s Office of Abandoned Mine Lands. The recipients applied for the grant funding earlier this year and were each considered by a committee of representatives from the WVDEP, West Virginia Department of Commerce, West Virginia Department of Transportation, and the Governor’s Office.

The economic development projects must be located on or adjacent to mine sites that ceased operations prior to the signing of the Surface Mine Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) on August 3, 1977.

OSMRE must give final approval of the projects and amounts awarded.

“These kinds of economic development projects are right in Governor Justice’s wheelhouse and he’s absolutely been a superstar to the entire state for helping us make these valuable projects a reality in West Virginia,” Sec. Caperton said. “We’ve received $105 million over the past four years, all going into economic development activities, and we’ve already received notice that we’re going to get another $25 million in funding for the next year.”

“I want to thank all those involved in making these projects a reality, the project leaders, our county commissioners, mayors, members of the West Virginia Legislature and our West Virginia DEP,” Gov. Justice added. “Without the commitment from each and every one of these dedicated West Virginians, none of this would be possible.”

Some of the projects recommended yesterday are as follows:

Renaissance Village in McDowell County
Aiding in the construction of a housing facility for teachers. The proposed facility will also have space available for commercial use.

Brenton and Baileysville Waterline Extension Project
Providing water service to 254 customers, Baileysville Elementary and Middle School, along with a potential expansion of the Hatfield-McCoy Trail.