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Interior Department issues guidance for cleanup of abandoned coal mines

(Matthew Brown/Associated Press)

The U.S. Department of the Interior has issued guidance for millions of dollars in funding available this fiscal year for the reclamation of abandoned coal mines and cleanup of acid mine drainage.

The guidance provides information for the use of funding from President Joe Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure package. It's part of an overall plan to spend $11.3 billion in the U.S. abandoned mine lands program over 15 years.

The funding is available to 22 states and the Navajo Nation. Among its provisions, the guidance encourages prioritizing projects that invest in disadvantaged communities, maximize the reduction of methane emissions, hire ex-coal industry workers and involve public comment and review.