North Dakota Public Service Commission to receive federal grant towards reclaiming abandoned coal mines

(Public Service Commission)
Published: Mar. 10, 2022 at 7:15 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - North Dakota’s Public Service Commission is receiving funds to help reclaim and repurpose abandoned coal mines throughout the state.

Every year, the Department of the Interior awards grants to states to help reclaim mines that were abandoned prior to passage of reclamation laws in 1977. This year, the Commission was given more than $2.8 million, which will be used for three projects planned this summer.

“This is money for us to find dangerous situations. Some of them over the years have been old highwalls that were abandoned from old surface mines that someone falling off the edge is an obvious danger. I believe it has saved lives. I know it has saved the state a lot of inconvenience and expense and one of the best examples of that is in these areas where there are state highways,” said Public Service Commissioner Randy Christmann.

The projects planned include exploratory drilling and grouting near Garrison and filling a surface mine north of New Salem.

Christman said the PSC is expecting to get additional funds through the federal infrastructure bill that was passed last year.

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