ODNR to restore mine lands in Athens area through bipartisan infrastructure bill

February 23, 2022

By Dani Kington, Athens Messenger

ATHENS – Through the bipartisan infrastructure bill passed last fall, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources was recently awarded over $46 million to reclaim and restore abandoned mine land throughout the state, including in Athens County.

“These projects benefit everyone by removing dangerous features that create public health and safety issues and improve environmental conditions, on both private and public lands, left by historic coal mining,” ODNR Media and Outreach Specialist Stephanie O’Grady said in an email.

O’Grady said the funding, awarded by the U.S. Department of Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, expands the resources available for the department’s abandoned mine land program. The funding will be used to address dangerous abandoned mine land sites, improve water quality issues resulting from acid mine drainage and address emergencies caused by abandoned mines. This includes sites throughout Ohio, several of which reside in the Athens area.