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Indiana receives over $3 million to reclaim abandoned coal mines

Duke Energy's Gibson coal plant sits along the Wabash River in Gibson County, Indiana.
Rebecca Thiele
IPB News
Indiana is expected to receive more than $3 million in funding to reclaim abandoned coal mines in the state.

Indiana is expected to receive more than $3 million in funding to reclaim abandoned coal mines in the state. The money comes from the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement’s Reclaiming Abandoned Mine Lands program.

A combined $124 million will be provided to various states to address issues from former coal mining sites.

Abandoned coal mine sites can have leftover toxic heavy metals, which can get into groundwater and pollute drinking water. In Indiana, current and abandoned coal mining sites cause air and water pollution issues throughout the state.

The grant money aims to return these mining areas to their pre-mining conditions.

A spokesperson for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources says Hoosiers who own a property that was mined before 1977 should report environmental, safety or health hazards from past coal mining practices on their properties.

The DNR says it will then send out an investigator to ensure these hazards qualify, which makes the state eligible for further federal funding.

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The program is funded in part by a fee collected on all coal produced in the United States. This latest round of funding comes in addition to money from President Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

These grants will continue through 2035.

This story has been updated.

Violet is our daily news reporter. Contact her at vcomberwilen@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @ComberWilen.