Gov. Beshear: Kentucky Receiving More Than $74 Million in Federal Funds To Create Good-Paying Jobs Through Clean-up of Historic Mine Sites

Editor’s note: The federal news release can be found here.


FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 29, 2024) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear and Department of the Interior Acting Deputy Secretary Laura Daniel-Davis announced that Kentucky will receive more than $74 million through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) to continue creating jobs and cleaning up hazards left by historic mining, such as subsidence, slides, open portals, refuse piles and mine seam fires. 

The $74,252,680 award, issued through the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), is the second of 15 years of BIL funding that will go to the Energy and Environment Cabinet’s Division of Abandoned Mine Lands (DAML). The funding also will be used to rebuild ailing water infrastructure and address water supply issues.

“This second-year grant means Team Kentucky will be able to continue its excellent record of reclaiming Kentucky’s inventory of historic coal mining hazards that are impacting the coalfield communities,” Gov. Beshear said. “Kentucky families will directly benefit from this work that will create good-paying jobs for many.”

“Through President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, we have a historic opportunity to address nearly all currently inventoried abandoned mine lands across the country and create good-paying, family sustaining jobs in coal communities in the process,” said Acting Deputy Secretary Daniel-Davis. 

Daniel-Davis also unveiled the Department’s new Appalachia Keystone Initiative, part of the Restoration and Resilience Framework.

“With these new resources, the Biden-Harris administration is creating new economic opportunities, improving the health, safety and quality of life of so many Americans and making a real, tangible, coordinated investment in Appalachia,” she said. 

On Wednesday, Daniel-Davis and Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) Principal Deputy Director Sharon Buccino toured the Bobby Reid DAML project funded through the state’s fiscal year 2022 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law grant. They also visited the East Kentucky Advanced Manufacturing Institute (eKAMI), which retrains workers from the Eastern Kentucky regions in preparation for new careers in automation and robotics.

With last year’s $74 million BIL grant, DAML began and/or completed 38 projects in 15 counties totaling almost $45 million dollars. Projects were located in Floyd, Whitley, Perry, Pike, Knott, Letcher, Bell, Leslie, Johnson, Boyd, Ohio, Hopkins, Webster, Harlan and Breathitt counties.

Some of the previous BIL-funded projects included:

  • The $4.1 million Nascar Lane project in Perry County is restoring a hillside after a landslide impacted a homeowner’s residence and blocked roadway access. Three retaining walls near the residence and a fourth retaining wall along the entrance to Nascar Lane were constructed.
  • The nearly $2.75 million Fleming-Neon project in Letcher County will build retaining walls to stabilize the hillside above Fleming-Neon City Park and ensure safe access to nearby Abdoo Street.
  • The nearly $2.9 million Bobby Reid Drainage AML Reclamation Project in Johnson County – DAML’s first community-wide, BIL-funded project – will build concrete ditches, culverts and drop boxes to control drainage that was affecting a 12-home subdivision.
  • A $2.5 million Perry County waterline replacement project in the city of Hazard will bring reliable drinking water to 150 homes in Upper River Road, Docks Hollow, Pine Patch, Wicks Branch, Memory Mountain and Sam Campbell Branch areas.
  • The $4.25 million Big Branch/Montgomery Creek project in Knott County will update and repair water line infrastructure that affects 2,500 residences along Kentucky Highway 80 East between the communities of Amburgey and Montgomery Creek Road.
  • The $1.7 million water and sewer project in Breathitt County will repair damaged waterline infrastructure serving 961 homes in the communities of Lost Creek Road, Haddix, Watts, Turners Creek and Highways 315 & 28.

“I am proud of all the work this division has already done in a short time to make Eastern Kentucky an even better place to live,” Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman said. “There is so much work yet to be done, and we are excited to get started.”

Projects that are eligible to receive BIL funding in Kentucky are those affected by coal mining that ceased prior to May 18, 1982. DAML prioritizes projects on the severity of the hazard.

Contractors who are interested in working with the Division of Abandoned Mine Lands should visit EEC.KY.GOV/AML for more information or see the Finance Cabinet Planroom for upcoming projects.