Fighting for Justice in the Coalfields

ACLC Attorney Evan Smith on the Federal Government’s Obligation to Invest in Coalfield Communities

Spearheaded by Appalachian Transition Fellows Eric Dixon, of ACLC, and Kendall Bilbrey, of the Alliance for Appalachia, a diverse group of stakeholders, including impacted community members, non-profit organizations, scholars, policy experts, lobbyists and scientists gathered in October at Breaks Interstate Park to discuss the looming issue of abandoned mine lands.

Meeting participants shared information about working with the Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Fund, policy recommendations for reforming the troubled program, and discussed other reclamation needs in the region.

Making Connections News, an Appalshop media project, recently spoke with our black lung attorney and Skadden Fellow Evan Smith about the AML Fund. In the commentary, Smith talks about the tough decisions mining families are making as the current coal bust looks more permanent. He calls on the nation to free up resources, such as money from the AML Fund, to invest in the coalfields communities that have contributed so much to building and securing our country. You can find the full interview here:

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