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Opportunities Exist to Improve Interior’s Economic Revitalization Program for Coal Communities

Opportunities Exist to Improve Interior’s Economic Revitalization Program for Coal Communities

Full Title: Opportunities Exist to Improve Interior’s Economic Revitalization Program for Coal Communities
Author(s): United States Government Accountability Office
Publisher(s): United States Government Accountability Office
Publication Date: June 1, 2024
Full Text: Download Resource
Description (excerpt):

Why GAO Did This Study:

Millions of Americans live less than 1 mile from an abandoned coal mine, according to OSMRE. These sites can pose risks to human health and the environment. The AMLER Program aims to aid communities impacted by abandoned mine land in six Appalachian states: Alabama, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. Three Tribes with established programs for abandoned mine land reclamation are also eligible for funding: the Crow Tribe, the Hopi Tribe, and the Navajo Nation. House Report 117-400 includes a provision for GAO to study the administration of the AMLER Program. This report examines, among other things, the information OSMRE collects on the program’s performance and challenges identified by program officials, state and tribal participants, and others. GAO reviewed agency guidance and reports and interviewed officials from the program and all six states and three Tribes. GAO also visited Pennsylvania, the Navajo Nation, and the Hopi Tribe.

What GAO Recommends:

GAO is making four recommendations, including that OSMRE (1) systematically track reliable and complete information on time frames to review and approve project proposals and (2) document roles and responsibilities of OSMRE staff in headquarters, regional, and field offices, and seek opportunities to streamline reviews. OSMRE agreed with all four recommendations and described steps it plans to take in response to each recommendation.

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