Tell The Senate: Let’s clean up acid mine drainage!

The US Senate

Acid mine drainage is one of the most visible and costly impacts of coal mining, turning Appalachian waterways rust orange with dangerous pollution and threatening the health of people and wildlife. Remediation of this pollution requires long-term treatment facilities and long-term funding.

On July 29, the House passed a bill to help clean up acid mine drainage - tell your Senators to support this important bill today!

In 2021, Congress enacted the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which included an unprecedented and transformative $11.3 billion for abandoned coal mine land reclamation. But unfortunately, the new law does not allow states to set money aside for long-term acid mine drainage treatment facilities.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding will allow states and tribes with abandoned mines to revitalize streams and rivers devastated by coal pollution. Still, we need to make sure states have the freedom to spend this money on long-term treatment of acid mine drainage. Bipartisan leaders in Congress have introduced the STREAM Act (S.3957/H.R.7283), which will make this much-needed change, allowing communities to clean up these waterways and invest in the outdoor recreation economy. This will create new jobs in areas transitioning away from fossil-fuel-based economies.

Community leaders collaborated with Congress to create The STEAM Act - a bill that would solve this problem - and it just passed the House!

This bill passed the House thanks to the hard work of advocates like you. Can you join us in reaching out to the Senate to help us get this bill over the finish line?

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To: The US Senate
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Acid mine drainage is one of the most visible impacts of abandoned coal mines, causing rust-colored streams, creeks, and rivers and threatening the health of people and wildlife in the mountains of coal-bearing regions. This pollution also damages the recreation economy in these communities, as it prohibits activities such as fishing, swimming, and boating. Cleaning up this pollution requires long-term water treatment facilities, which requires states and tribes to set aside reclamation funds to ensure they will have the funding necessary to maintain the treatment facilities as long as possible.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act included a transformative $11.3 billion to reclaim abandoned coal mine lands. But unfortunately, the Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation, responsible for implementing this funding, recently announced that they have interpreted that the new law does not allow for funding to be put in long-term set-aside accounts for acid mine drainage treatment. This means that states and tribes cannot build acid mine drainage treatment facilities with the new funding.

States and tribes with abandoned mine land programs should be able to use this money to address the highest-priority problems in their jurisdiction. The STREAM Act (H.R.7283) has passed the House with strong bipartisan support. Please support the bipartisan STREAM Act in the Senate (S.3957) to fix this oversight and allow states and tribes the freedom to place a portion of new IIJA grant funds into Acid Mine Drainage set-aside accounts.