What is the RAC?
The Reclaiming Appalachia Coalition (RAC) is a multi-state coalition comprised of Appalachian Voices, Coalfield Development Corporation, and Rural Action, with technical assistance and added capacity provided by Downstream Strategies. Established in 2017 to promote Innovative Mine Reclamation in Appalachia, our coalition has effectively secured over $15.8 million in AML Pilot (or AMLER) funds, leveraging approximately $11.4 million in additional funds. This success has cemented our coalition as a thought leader and indispensable resource for communities in the field. We provide expert resources to Appalachian coalfield communities to identify, develop, and fund innovative reclamation projects while supporting the growth of a regional community of practice and advocating for a more just and equitable implementation of federal funds through AML Pilot/AMLER.
Read about a few of our project highlights HERE.
Our work is made possible through the generous support of the New York Community Trust and The Just Transition Fund.
6/08/22: After six years, sufficient data and case studies help evaluate the Abandoned Mine Land Economic Revitalization Program’s (AMLER) progress towards its goals. Have the projects funded through this program resulted in the economic and community benefits stakeholders hoped for? Downstream Strategies and members of Reclaiming Appalachia Coalition released a new report, GOT FIVE ON IT: Economic Impacts and Observations of the Abandoned Mine Land Economic Revitalization Program Five Years In, exploring the achieved and potential benefits of the AMLER program and other observations.
3/31/22: The Reclaiming Appalachia Coalition submitted recommendations to the Department of Energy regarding its funding opportunity for a facility to extract rare earth elements from coal waste such as acid mine drainage, gob, and coal ash. Read the recommendations
3/30/22: The Reclaiming Appalachia Coalition released its recommendations about the Abandoned Mine Land Economic Revitalization Program. Read more
3/20/22: The Reclaiming Appalachia Coalition will host a webinar and release its new report detailing recommendations for the Abandoned Mine Land Economic Revitalization Program on March 30th, 11am ET. Register
7/15/21: The Reclaiming Appalachia Coalition released a report, Moving forward at warp speed: Abandoned mine reclamation over the coming years, detailing the economic potential of the abandoned mine line proposal contained within the federal bipartisan infrastructure package proposal.
1/9/21: The Reclaiming Appalachia Coalition will host a webinar and release its latest report, Restoration and Renewal: The New Appalachian Economy, on January 14. Register for the webinar.
12/15/20: The Reclaiming Appalachia Coalition hosted a webinar to discuss the status of bonding pools for post-SMCRA mines, as more coal companies are declaring bankruptcies and triggering bond forfeitures. Watch the webinar.
8/7/20: The Reclaiming Appalachia Coalition announced recipients of its inaugural mini-grant program for innovative coal mine reclamation projects in Alabama, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania.
07/08/20: The Reclaiming Appalachia Coalition just released the “Community Benefits Agreements Research Report.“
04/07/20: On April 21, 2020, we will be hosting a webinar to provide information about the coalition’s new mini-grants for innovative reclamation projects and share details about innovative economic and community development projects on abandoned mine land reclamation in Central Appalachia. Register
03/19/20: In 2020, the Reclaiming Appalachia Coalition will award mini-grants to four projects on abandoned mine lands (AML) in Alabama, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania. The grant award will consist of $7,000 in start-up funds as well as 30 hours of project technical and planning assistance from Downstream Strategies.
10/31/19: On October 31, 2019, the RAC released its latest report, “A New Horizon: Innovative Reclamation for a Just Transition.”
10/15/19: The RAC’s next webinar, “Innovative Reclamation Projects Across the Appalachian Region,” will take place on October 31, where we will be discussing multiple projects the group has been working on throughout 2019. Register
In Southwest Virginia, a group of nonprofit and community action agencies, colleges, state agencies, planning district commissions, and other interested citizens and businesses seeking to develop a solar energy industry cluster in the seven coalfield counties of Southwest Virginia. Read more here!
An unlikely cross-disciplinary partnership between a Rural Action watershed coordinator and a scientist and artist at Ohio University has resulted in an innovative treatment and reuse of byproducts from acid mine drainage. The treatment process developed at Ohio University enables the removal of iron and neutralizes acid. The iron removed will be used in the production of a viable iron oxide pigment product for commercial sale to produce highly sought after paint pigments. See more here!
A project proposed by the Friends of Cheat (FOC) aims to create a recreational trail corridor (~8.5 miles) along the Cheat River in Preston County, marketing Kingwood and Rowlesburg as gateway “Trail Towns” and bringing crucial economic development activity to the area. Read more here!
The North Fork Kentucky River Project would utilize AML Pilot funds to create an AMD remediation park of sorts. Here, the project team will employ passive and ecological remediation techniques to treat water from an AML-impacted stream to demonstrate and educate visitors about the process and importance of improving water quality from the area’s rivers and streams. Read more here!