Portal 31 Opens Economic Prospects

A former Harlan County, KY, coal mine that had produced more than 120 million tons of coal before closing in 1962 was reopened several years ago and now serves as a heritage tourism site drawing over 5,000 visitors a year, according to this report from the Ohio Valley ReSource. In 2018, the attraction was awarded a $2.55 million Abandoned Mine Land Pilot grant to update the 35 minute tour inside the mine as well as nearby historic buildings for use as retail and office space. The AML Program chiefly provides funding for polluted land and water reclamation, but over the last five years, federal support has grown to include projects that could build local economies. This effort could increase dramatically with passage of the federal RECLAIM Act currently introduced in Congress.

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