Energy and Mines


Report Identifies 14 Abandoned Coal Mines Ideal for Repurposing in Virginia

Report Identifies 14 Abandoned Coal Mines Ideal for Repurposing in Virginia
November 07
16:30 2016

A new report reveals 14 former coal mine sites in Virginia, US that have great economic potential if repurposed into solar farms, community parks, or sustainable farms. The report was compiled by the Appalachian Voices advocacy group in collaboration with Coal Mining Engineering Services and Downstream Strategies.

“[The listed] sites – and many other abandoned mine lands throughout Appalachia – have been eyesores and health hazards for local communities for over on 40 years,” said Adam Wells, Economic Diversification Program Coordinator with Appalachian Voices. “There’s enormous momentum building at the local level to reclaim these lands for a more sustainable economic future, but we need federal investment to bring that change swiftly.”

The advocacy group believes that repurposing mine lands with renewables makes not only social, but also economic sense in light of the RECLAIM Act, currently pending, that would see a release of $1 billion over a five-year period to American coal states.  If the legislation is passed, the state of Virginia could get up $6 million a year for a total of five years.

The report analyzes 500 sites in Southwest Virginia that have been designated as “abandoned mine lands” (AML). To narrow down the list, researchers used the following criteria: size, proximity to infrastructure, proximity to population centers, existing economic development efforts at the site, and land ownership. The reclamation costs for all 14 sites is believed to be somewhere between $7.9 million and $16 million.

To read the full report, click here

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Anna Golubova

Anna Golubova