ODNR Accepting Grant Proposals to Transform Abandoned Mine Lands ODNR Accepting Grant Proposals to Transform Abandoned Mine Lands

$17 million in AMLER funding available for community improvement projects.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is offering up to $17 million in grants for projects that will encourage economic and community development across Ohio. The Division of Mineral Resources Management (DMRM) is accepting applications for projects that will eliminate hazards left behind by mining activity and/or improve areas with abandoned mine lands.

“Communities will now have the resources they need to transform potential hazards into beautiful, useful spaces,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said.  “Transforming these areas will provide an economic boost through industrial and commercial development, and will give people more safe places to walk, bike, and enjoy.”

Abandoned mine lands (AML) are sites that were mined for coal prior to 1977.  Project sites eligible include unreclaimed, previously reclaimed, or lands adjacent to abandoned coal mine lands or polluted waters or communities impacted by historic coal production.  The new program will sub-grant AMLER funds received from the federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE). Projects must follow the guidelines set forth in in OSMRE’s AMLER Guidance Document.

Those interested in the grant program must submit their application along with a letter of intent which includes a brief project summary, abandoned coal mining nexus, anticipated grant amount to be requested, other potential funding, and location map.

Letters of intent must be sent to AMLER@dnr.ohio.gov by July 15, 2022.  A completed application must be emailed by September 16, 2022 and include the following attachments:

•    Site photos
•    Map showing project location and conceptual project work limits
•    Letters of support from partners, community members and local leaders
•    Preliminary project designs/plans (if available)

You can read more about the grant program here.  A copy of the application is attached below.

ODNR’s Division of Mineral Resources Management (MRM) has been investing and working diligently to transform AML sites into safe and enjoyable land for Ohioans to enjoy.  In Jefferson County, the Friendship Park Highwall Reclamation created more park acres, more hiking trails, and wetland area where wildlife can thrive.  In Harrison County, The Sally Buffalo Park projects eliminated more than 2,200 feet of dangerous highwall, clearing the way for expanded campground facilities. Current projects and program information can be found here.

ODNR administers both a state and federal AML program. Prior to 1972, Ohio statute did not require restoration of desirable environmental conditions to surface mined areas.

The Division of Mineral Resources Management oversees the safe and environmentally sound development and restoration of mineral and fossil fuel extraction sites. The division also restores abandoned mine land, enforces mining safety laws, and ensures the protection of citizens, land, and water resources.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.

Information courtesy of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources