Hoeven Announces Availability of Nearly $2.8 Million in Federal Funds for Coal Mine Reclamation in North Dakota

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced that the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) at the U.S. Department of Interior has made nearly $2.8 million available for coal mine reclamation projects in North Dakota. The funds are provided through the Abandoned Mine Land Fund, which is maintained in part through the per-ton fee levied on all coal produced in the U.S.

“North Dakota has demonstrated time and again that we can produce more energy with better environmental stewardship,” Hoeven said. “Our state is continually recognized by federal authorities as having one of the best reclamation programs in the country. Today’s funds will help support our continued work to help meet the nation’s energy needs while also preserving our state’s land, water and air.”

Senator Hoeven continues to work through his role on the Senate Appropriations Committee to ensure that the Office of Surface Mining works with states to ensure water quality is protected without adversely impacting jobs and the economy. In response to the proposed Stream Protection Rule, the senator pressed Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management Janice Schneider last October to reject a one-size-fits-all approach to regulating mining activities. Hoeven urged Schneider to work with states to allow flexibility based on local factors, such as geography and reclamation practices, and secured a commitment from the assistant secretary to visit North Dakota to see the state’s environmental practices firsthand before finalizing the rule.

Hoeven also cosponsored bipartisan legislation introduced by Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.) to ensure transparency for the Interior Department’s rulemaking process and prevent duplicate regulations between federal agencies.