FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky Division of Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) is seeking economic and community development proposals that will attract new industry and jobs to Kentucky’s Appalachian counties.
The 2021 Abandoned Mine Land Pilot Program has $10 million in federal grant money available through the federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) and the Kentucky Division of AML for projects in Appalachian counties with historic coal mining sites that will create long-term economic benefits, Gov. Andy Beshear announced.
Beshear said the pilot program, now in its sixth year, has a proven record of growing jobs, improving infrastructure and providing an economically sustainable future for communities.
“Many Eastern Kentucky communities are already seeing the benefits of this program,” Beshear said. “One of the best ways to improve the health of the Appalachian region and build a better Kentucky is to create more stable, good-paying jobs like the ones these projects can provide.”
Since 2020, the Beshear administration has recommended 11 projects in 10 Appalachian counties totaling almost $25 million in AML pilot funding for OSMRE approval. These projects will improve community water systems, provide job training, enable industrial park growth and encourage Eastern Kentucky tourism.
The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet is accepting 2021 applications through June 30, 2021. For more details, please go to AMLPILOT.
Since the program’s inception in 2016, 54 projects in 21 counties have been selected for the AML pilot funding. Notable projects include the HCTC utility training program for lineman and crane operation in Leslie County, a Knott-Perry water interconnect and storage tank in Knott County, the Dajcor aluminum extrusion project in Perry County, the Pinnacle Park industrial development in Martin County, the King’s Daughters Health System expansion in Boyd County, and increasing the chemotherapy treatment area at Pikeville Medical Center’s Leonard Lawson Cancer Center by 7,000 s.f.
U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) has championed $540 million in federal funding for the AML Pilot program since 2016, of which $130 million has been awarded to Kentucky.
“I created this program in 2016 to fast-track funding for economic development projects to create jobs and help revitalize communities in the coalfields of Eastern Kentucky where we have lost thousands of good-paying coal mining jobs over the last decade. So far, we’ve seen local leaders leverage these grants to strengthen our infrastructure, revamp tourism, enhance access to health care, expand workforce opportunities and much more,” said Congressman Rogers. “As we continue to work together, investing in quality projects, we are paving the way for a brighter future in Kentucky’s Appalachian region.”
Counties that are eligible for projects include: Adair, Bath, Bell, Boyd, Breathitt, Carter, Casey, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Cumberland, Edmonson, Elliott, Estill, Fleming, Floyd, Garrard, Green, Greenup, Harlan, Hart, Jackson, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Lewis, Lincoln, McCreary, Madison, Magoffin, Martin, Menifee, Metcalfe, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Nicholas, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Powell, Pulaski, Robertson, Rockcastle, Rowan, Russell, Wayne, Whitley and Wolfe.
Last year’s program saw a record number of applicants, Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman said.
“Local leaders know what this program can do to revitalize their communities,” Goodman said. “I urge anyone with a visionary project to put in an application.”
Eligible grant recipients are limited to non-profits and state, county and local governments, who may subcontract project-related activities as appropriate.
Applications must include information about the project’s purpose, benefits, partnerships, local engagement, cost and link to historic mining. All proposals will be reviewed by AML. Cabinet Secretary Goodman will recommend selected projects to the federal Office of Surfacing Mining Reclamation and Enforcement for vetting and final approval.
Workshops explaining the application process will be held at 10 a.m. EST on April 30, May 7 and May 12 on Microsoft Teams. Anyone interested in applying for an AML Pilot grant in 2021 is encouraged to attend. To receive a workshop Link, you MUST preregister online at https://eec.ky.gov/Natural-Resources/Mining/Abandoned-Mine-Lands/Pages/default.aspx. You may attend multiple webinars but you must register for each separately.
Application forms for project submittals can be found at AMLPILOT or by contacting Mr. Justin Adams, Director, Kentucky Division of Abandoned Mine Lands, 300 Sower Boulevard, Frankfort, KY 40601. Office: (502) 782-6761, e-mail: [email protected].