Federal funding now available to reclaim long-abandoned mining land

February 17, 2023

Indiana has been approved for up to $385 million in federal funds that will support the reclamation of former coal mines, and Hoosiers who own such property are being encouraged to report to the state.

Reclamation is the process by which adverse safety, health and environmental effects of formerly unregulated surface mining are minimized and mined lands are returned to a beneficial end use.

“We can’t bring every eligible property to construction right away, but we need Hoosiers to report their problem areas to us as soon as possible,” Kit Turpin, who leads the Abandoned Mine Land program for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, said in a media release.

Because reclamation funding is distributed based on need, the DNR Division of Reclamation’s AML program is identifying future projects. Indiana’s eligibility for these federal grants depends upon the state’s inventory of abandoned mine land.

Once reported, an AML project manager and the landowner will review the site to decide if the impact on the property was caused by mining. AML will talk with the landowner to decide what needs to be done and discuss accommodating other requests in the reclamation design. The project manager will work closely with the landowner during the design process to ensure the property’s needs are met. If the landowner approves the design, the project is put up for bid through the state public works process.

To qualify for funding, the mining land must have been abandoned prior to 1977.

In Indiana, more than 2,000 reclamation projects have been completed since 1982 on both public and private lands.

For more information, call 1-800-772-6463 or 812-665-2207, or email abandonedminesrestoration@dnr.IN.gov.

Federal funding now available to reclaim long-abandoned mining land