Home Five Southwest Virginia projects receive AMLER grant approval for nearly $9.4M

Five Southwest Virginia projects receive AMLER grant approval for nearly $9.4M

Rebecca Barnabi
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Five Southwest Virginia economic development projects have been selected for Abandoned Mine Land Economic Revitalization (AMLER) grant approval.

The program is administered by the Virginia Department of Energy (Virginia Energy) and funded by the federal U.S. Department of Treasury. Each project is on a site where coal was mined before 1977 and include safety and environmental improvements to the Southwest Virginia communities where they are located.

“Repurposing land to create jobs and grow communities is a wonderful benefit of the AMLER program and we are excited to see these developments create opportunities in our Southwest communities,” Gov. Glenn Youngkin said. “These innovative projects advance Virginia’s standing as a great place to do business and raise a family.”

Virginia received the federal grant funding AMLER to develop Abandoned Mine Land (AML) sites beginning in 2017. More than 40 projects have been recommended for funding. Virginia Energy oversees the grant which comes from the Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation Enforcement (OSMRE). The OSMRE has final approval over recommended projects proposed on land that includes features associated with coal mining that occurred before 1977. The Commonwealth is one of six states chosen to receive funding.

“The AMLER Program, federal funding I championed, provides our communities in Southwest Virginia with opportunities to reuse old mine lands for new and exciting purposes. AMLER projects have contributed to job creation, economic growth and environmental renewal in the coalfields, improving the quality of life for residents in the surrounding areas,” said Congressman Griffith.

Wise County will receive $1.2 million for the Norton Light Industrial Building, $1.2 million will also go to the Russell County Access Bridge, $3 million will go to the Data Center Ridge in Wise County, the Southern Gap Office Park Building in Buchanon County will receive $1,950,000, and the Haysi Site High School site redevelopment will receive $2 million in Dickenson County.

“We are already celebrating success through projects that have been created through this program,” Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick said. “AMLER supports significant site development in these coalfield communities which creates a successful path toward a more robust economy.”

Virginia Energy Director Glenn Davis said the AMLER program meets Virginia Energy’s top priorities of safety, positive environmental impact and good economic development.

“Industrial, clean energy and community developments made through this program over the last six years have supported 415 jobs,” Davis said.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.