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County to get state funds to clean up abandoned mines

State agencies will spend more than $500,000 this year to reduce damage from leftover mining operations in Lawrence County.

Monday, July 16, 2001

State agencies will spend more than $500,000 this year to reduce damage from leftover mining operations in Lawrence County.

Gov. Bob Taft announced July 12 that the state will undertake two projects – one at Little Storms Creek – in Lawrence County, which are part of a record $10 million in 38 new abandoned mine land (AML) projects in 19 Ohio counties.

The abandoned mine land projects will address several environmental and public safety issues, Taft said as he toured an AML reclamation site in Macksburg last week.

"Pollution from long-abandoned underground and surface mines is the single most pressing water quality issue in the region, while erosion and sedimentation, if unchecked, greatly increase the threat of flooding," Taft said. "Thanks to the efforts of many partners, Ohio has reclaimed much of this land in recent years, but more work remains – and we are committed to getting it done."

In Lawrence County, $500,000 will be used for correction of flooding from mine sediment and for stream restoration along Little Storms Creek. Also, $50,000 will be used for "SEO Underground – interception of acid mine drainage affecting numerous structures."

Of the 38 new reclamation projects to begin this summer or ready to be placed for bid, the largest are a $1.4 million clean-up at the Rehoboth III coal refuse pile in Perry County and a $1 million surface mine restoration at the Nibert Road AML site in Gallia County.

Administered by the ODNR Division of Mineral Resources Management, Ohio’s AML reclamation program is funded by the U.S. Department of the Interior and state grants, as well as bond monies forfeited by former mine operators.

The AML program reclaims areas disturbed by mining operations, primarily coal mining operations, that were not restored in accordance with today’s stringent reclamation requirements. Most pre-date those requirements.