Abandoned Mine Reclamation

Description of the Indicator
This indicator measures the number of sites deemed Abandoned Mined Lands (AML). AML sites refers to areas of mining that have ceased production but have left behind environmental hazards such as unstable land, contaminated water, or hazardous materials.

The Abandoned Mine Land Economic Revitalization (AMLER) program, formerly known as the AML Pilot Program, provides funds for the reclamation of AMLs in conjunction with economic and community development and reuse goals. The sites could be former mines, coal refuse areas, areas with acid mine drainage, and more.

Why is it important?
Monitoring these indicators is crucial for identifying and addressing environmental and public health risks associated with AML sites and anthracite coal mining. Additionally, monitoring AML revitalization projects aids in progress oversight of the region and state and the potential for reuse of the site for other purposes.

How is the region doing?
Lackawanna County is reported to have 90 AML sites, only 1.8 percent of the total Commonwealth. Luzerne County is reported to have 202 AML sites, 4.1 percent of the total Commonwealth, and there are eight anthracite coal refuse producing sites. Wayne County is reported to have 36 AML sites, 0.74 percent of the total Commonwealth. There were no counties in the study area listed as having an AML revitalization project in 2022, and similarly, there are only three listed for the entire state. From 2020 to 2022, the number of AML revitalization projects has decreased by 77 percent. This could be another area impacted by the pandemic.