U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today, along with Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Mark Warner (D-VA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced the Revitalizing the Economy of Coal Communities by Leveraging Local Activities and Investing More (RECLAIM) Act of 2019 to provide opportunities for coal reclamation and economic development in communities impacted by the downturn in the coal industry.
"This legislation will help communities in Southern Illinois -- who have helped power our nation -- by putting people back to work to clean up contaminated, abandoned mines and providing economic development opportunities to areas that need them," said Duckworth. "I'm proud to join Senator Manchin and my colleagues in reintroducing this legislation because we can't afford to leave any community in any part of our country behind."
"The RECLAIM Act is an investment in the coal communities that have done the heavy lifting that produced the energy that powered our country to greatness," Manchin said. "These bills will provide a boost to struggling coal communities to help diversify their economies without a dime of taxpayer money. I'm proud to join my colleagues in fighting for these investments and introducing the RECLAIM Act,"
The RECLAIM Act of 2019 releases $1 billion from the remaining, unappropriated balance in the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund to states to be spent on reclamation projects in communities impacted by abandoned mine lands (AML) and the recent decrease in coal mining production. The RECLAIM Act will also requires States to carry out reclamation projects that will create favorable conditions for economic development.
These projects must be conducted in areas that have been adversely affected by a reduction in coal mining related activity and/or in communities that have traditionally relied on coal mining for a substantial portion of their economy. Under the RECLAIM Act, $195 million will be distributed to uncertified States and tribes with approved AML programs each year from Fiscal Year 2020 to 2024.