West Virginia turning abandoned mines into economic development projects

February 12, 2024

West Virginia will make $30 million in federal grants available to support economic development projects at 10 abandoned mines throughout the state.

A committee comprising representatives from various government departments and offices, including the state’s Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Commerce, Department of Transportation and Governor’s Office, recommended the sites based on competitive grant applications. Final approval comes from the Office of Surface Minin Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE).

Logan Resort and Recreation Center in Logan County would use $6.8 million to build a theme park, including a roller coaster, simulated coal mine and artifact display. The grant funds would also help expand surrounding trails.

Brooke County would use $4 million for West Virginia Farm Foods, LLC to construct a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) abattoir to process cattle from 7,000 farms in northern West Virginia.

Among the other recommended projects:

  • $3 million to the City of Thomas Water Improvement Project to replace water lines and rehabilitate three steel water tanks.
  • $2.9 million to Phase 2 of the Ashland Resort Tourism Park in McDowell County.
  • $2.9 million to the Cleanwater RU2 Process Project to install a patented water treatment technology in Kanawha County.

The funds are available through the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Abandoned Mine Lands Revitalization (AMLER) program, which has committed over $205 million in grant funding to assist projects across West Virginia since 2016. AMLER helps explore and implement strategies that return legacy coal mining sites into economic and community development initiatives.

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Photo by ForestWander

Gracie Warhurst

Gracie Warhurst has joined Strategic Partnerships, Inc. as a writer and digital content creator for the new Government Market News portal. With a rich background in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin, Warhurst has experience as editor-in-chief of a literary magazine, assistant web editor, and project manager for an AI journalism project. She also contributed as a reporter during the development of SPI's news portal. Warhurst graduated summa cum laude in December 2023 with a Bachelor's in Journalism and a certificate in creative writing, making her a valuable asset to the SPI team.

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