WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representatives Melanie Stansbury (D-N.M.) and Teresa Leger Fernández (D-N.M.) are welcoming $2,829,000 from the U.S. Department of Interior for Fiscal Year 2022 to accelerate cleaning up abandoned coal mines in New Mexico. This is in addition to the $2.4 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
“While I’m excited to see this funding, I’m also eager to get the ball rolling on the additional goal of cleaning up the abandoned hardrock mines that are still a threat to New Mexico’s most precious resource, our water," said Heinrich.
“I’m proud to have supported this funding in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which will create good-paying jobs cleaning up abandoned coal mines,” said Luján. “It is critical that we invest in our state’s skilled workforce to defend our water and land resources and address legacy mining issues as New Mexico moves towards a renewable energy future.”
“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is creating good-paying jobs across New Mexico to rebuild our infrastructure and clean up our state’s precious lands and waters — including this critical funding to clean up abandoned coal mines,” said Stansbury. “As our state is transitioning to a clean energy economy, these efforts to clean up abandoned mines and accelerate the transition to wind, solar and other renewable energy jobs is vital to our economy and our future. Born in Farmington, New Mexico to a mom who worked as a machine operator at a coal-fired power plant and a father who worked as a welder in the oil and gas fields, I know firsthand how crucial these cleanup dollars are and how important it is to get this funding out the door as quickly as possible to build a brighter and more sustainable future for our state.”
"We welcome this funding that will clean up abandoned coal mine projects to protect our precious water and land resources and help revitalize local communities by creating good-paying jobs for Nuevo Mexicanos," said Leger Fernández. "This investment is another step toward supporting a sustainable future para nuestra gente and honoring our commitment to the communities that have powered our economy for generations.”
The grants heading to New Mexico will help local communities revitalize local economies by supporting good-paying union jobs and addressing dangerous environmental conditions and pollution from legacy coal developments. The grant formula is based on past and current coal production, and the program is funded in part by a fee collected on all coal produced in the United States.