The Kentucky Division of Abandoned Mine Lands Will Host the
Lexington, Kentucky has been chosen as the host city for the 2017 National Association of Abandoned Mine Land Programs (NAAMLP) Annual Conference. Lexington is famous for Bluegrass Music, Thoroughbred Horses(The Horse Capital of the World), Bourbon, and Kentucky Wildcat Basketball. The conference will run from Sunday evening through Wednesday afternoon (September 24 - 27, 2017). Monday will have an opening plenary session, technical presentations unique to Abandoned Mine Land (AML) reclamation and an awards banquet honoring National Reclamation Award winners. Field trips on Tuesday will feature stream restoration sites, AML reclamation sites, limestone quarries that host the University of Kentucky underground blast laboratories, and a tour of the Toyota Manufacturing Plant which has benefited from low electricity rates from the abundance of Kentucky Coal. Tours will also be available to majestic horse farms, bourbon distilleries, the Kentucky Horse Park, Keeneland Thoroughbred Race Track, and other beautiful Bluegrass destinations.
The Division of Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) works throughout the state’s coal fields to protect the public from health and safety problems caused by mining that occurred prior to 1982.
Examples of hazards that can be found on abandoned mine sites are landslides, water-filled pits, open mine portals and dilapidated equipment and buildings. The division restores these degraded sites to a safe and environmentally stable condition through a process known as reclamation.
The division also administers a bond forfeiture reclamation program. Before coal companies begin mining at a site, they must post a reclamation bond. A company's bond may be forfeited to the Commonwealth if the company fails to mine and reclaim a site to the standards specified in its mining permit. The forfeited funds are used by the state to reclaim the site for which the bond was posted.
AML also administers a water supply replacement program. The division extends waterlines into areas where drinking water has been contaminated by past mining.
The division’s AML program is 100 percent funded by the federal government. The federal government gets its funding for AML programs by collecting a fee on every ton of coal produced by mining operations nationwide. The division has a central office in Frankfort and field offices in Prestonsburg, London, Madisonville and Hazard.