CHARLESTON — Rep. Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) has secured additional funding for West Virginia that will help to redevelop and repurpose abandoned mine lands that will help create more jobs for West Virginians.
Jenkins said the Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) pilot program helps to diversify the economy by redeveloping and repurposing the sites.
"I helped establish the AML pilot program, which has brought more than $80 million to West Virginia since the program started in 2016," Jenkins said in an interview with The West Virginia Record. "We must work to create jobs, put displaced coal miners back to work and revitalize our coalfields."
Jenkins said the fiscal year 2019 interior appropriations bill supports many West Virginia programs.
Rep. Evan Jenkins (R-WV)
"This includes funding for police, fire departments, libraries and schools in rural communities, as well as the National Park Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service," Jenkins said.
Jenkins has worked to include the $30 million in funding and other important West Virginia priorities in the bill, which was passed earlier this month.
While on the House Appropriations Committee, Jenkins has worked to bring $80 million to West Virginia since 2016.
The bill funds important programs, including $500 million for the Payments In Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program, $1.6 billion for the Fish and Wildlife Service, and $3.25 billion for the National Park Service.
The bill encourages an increase in timber sales by the U.S. Forest Service. Jenkins asked the Forest Service to also increase sustainable logging in the Monongahela National Forest for the purpose of helping to prevent forest fires, create jobs and ensure the health of the forest.