For Immediate Release: March 25, 2015
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Brian Coy, (804) 225-4260, Brian.Coy@governor.virginia.gov | Dept. of Mines, Minerals and Energy: Tarah Kesterson, (276) 523-8146, tarah.kesterson@dmme.virginia.gov

Governor McAuliffe Announces $1 Million Funding For Water System Expansion in Buchanan County

~Project will provide public water to 163 households~

 

RICHMOND ─ Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced that Buchanan County is set to receive a federal grant totaling $1,000,000 to provide public water to 163 homes in the Hurley community that have been affected by past coal mining practices.  The water project has been selected for construction funding under Virginia’s Abandoned Mine Land (AML) FY15 Grant administered by the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME), that will be released in April 2015. 

Speaking about today’s announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, “I am pleased to announce this grant that will ensure Buchanan residents receive safe, clean drinking water in their homes.  The Abandoned Mine Land funding is an important way for us to build a new Virginia economy by creating jobs and improving the lives of our citizens in southwest Virginia.” 

“Providing critical infrastructure for our communities in Southwest Virginia is a top priority,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones.  “There are few assets as vital to the healthy development and progress of our communities as clean water.” 

This grant will help fund the sixth phase of the Hurley Regional Water Project, which extends public water service into the Hurley area of Buchanan County.  The project consists of approximately 13.5 miles of water lines, two pump stations and two tanks.  The Buchanan County Board of Supervisors applied for the grant to help bring public water to 163 households. AML water grants in Buchanan County have totaled $26.8 million and helped provide clean water to 2,197 homes.  

Reclamation fees paid by the coal industry have funded the replacement of over 8,800 domestic water supplies that were affected by mining before the federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 was passed.  In addition to providing needed public water supplies, this project also creates a number of local construction jobs. 

Funding for DMME’s water supply replacement projects is through reclamation fees paid by Virginia’s coal industry.  Since 1984, the agency has awarded over $47 million to water projects throughout Southwest Virginia. 

Just in the last five years, all AML projects have created 706 jobs and supported $41,337,054 in improvement projects.

 

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