In the news

August 2020

EPCAMR receives grant to explore solar energy on coal lands

Bobby Hughes, EPCAMR
Published Aug. 30, 2020
Abandoned mine lands in the region could one day host solar energy projects.
Solar on former coal lands? It is happening in West Virginia. Perhaps Pennsylvania can get…

Grants hope to turn old mines into job-creators

Published Aug. 7, 2020
Grants were approved Friday that groups hope will turn old, abandoned coal mines into new job creators in three towns in Kentucky and one each in Pennsylvania and Alabama.

Coalition makes catalytic investment in Appalachian coal mine reuse projects

Published Aug. 7, 2020
Furthering its commitment to innovative mine reclamation projects throughout the Appalachian region, the Reclaiming Appalachia Coalition (RAC) announced its investment in five projects in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Alabama as part of its inaugural mini-grant program.

February 2020

West Virginia may install solar on former coal sites

Published Feb. 28th, 2020
The environmental nonprofit The Nature Conservancy is working with West Virginia’s Coalfield Development Corporation to put large-scale solar energy on a decommissioned coal mine site. This would be… read more.

Aquaponics facility just months away from operations

Published Feb. 6, 2020
The Mingo County Redevelopment Authority recently hosted a tour at the new aquaponics facility, located on the old Burning Creek Mine property on the outskirts of the city limits in Kermit, West Virginia… read more.

Solar could be installed on coalfields in West Virginia if The Nature Conservancy succeeds

Published Feb. 27, 2020
The conservancy is seeking a decommissioned mine site to purchase or lease, and is working with West Virginia’s Coalfield Development Corporation to secure funding to develop a site with large-scale solar energy, forestry, and… read more.

January 2020

$3.5M moves acid mine drainage cleanup plant toward full scale

Published Jan. 1, 2020
Ohio University, Rural Action and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) are moving forward with a plan that would ultimately construct a full-scale acid mine drainage (AMD) water treatment plant in Millfield, near Athens, according to… read more.

Proposed fund would provide grants for renewable energy projects on former coal sites in Va.

Published Jan. 29, 2020

New funding for renewable energy projects on brownfields and former coal sites could become available under a proposed program before Virginia’s General Assembly.

December 2019

Former coal mines spur economic development

Published Dec. 19, 2019
Rural Action held an abandoned mine land tour of successful abandoned mine land reclamation and economic projects in the region on Friday, Dec. 13. The tour began at the Lawrence Township Hall in Bolivar and was free with lunch provided… read more.

November 2019

Portal 31: How A Closed Mine Opened New Prospects For One Coal Town


Published Nov. 21, 2019
Devin Mefford is sitting in the squat metal buggy of a modified mantrip, the train-like shuttle coal miners use to travel underground. Mefford is dressed for work, in a hardhat and a navy shirt and pants with lime green reflective stripes.
It’s a uniform his father and grandfather – both Kentucky coal miners – would be familiar with.
Mefford does go into a mine every day, but not for the coal…. read more.

Report looks at redeveloping coal sites


Published Nov. 3, 2019
A coalition of advocacy groups is working to support proposals for innovative reclamation projects in coalfield communities throughout the region, many of which are grappling with how to grow their economies in the face of a declining coal industry that has also left behind abandoned mine properties. These old coal sites could be promising locations for …read more.

October 2019

Report — Mine Reclamation Done Well Could Be Catalyst For Regional ‘Just Transition’

Published Oct. 31, 2019
A new report by a group of regional advocacy organizations argues reclaiming abandoned mine lands could be a key factor in Appalachia’s transition from coal… read more.

Reclaiming More Abandonded Coal Mines in SWVA

Published Oct. 31, 2019
Communities Across Appalachia are looking to diversify the region’s economy with ventures like sustainable agriculture businesses, renewable energy sites, or other economic drivers; new businesses built, literally atop abandoned mine sites… read more.

September 2019

Baileys Mountain Bike Trail starts construction after receiving funding from numerous sources

Published Sept. 19, 2019
Mountain bikers around the country waiting for the construction of what will become one of the longest trails in the country are about to hear some welcome news: the wait is almost over… read more.

March 2019

Abandoned mine complex finds new use as part of Camp Tuscazoar

Published Mar. 26, 2019
On Saturday, the process of restoring the property will take another step forward as volunteers plant 5,000 burr oak, northern red oak, silver maple, sweetgum and … read more.