Virginia Department of Energy
Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Projects on Abandoned Mine Lands
August 23, 2023 @ 6:00 p.m.
Location: Southwest Virginia Community College
Tarah Kesterson: Welcome to an exciting opportunity to collaborate with Virginia Energy on future projects, just a couple of things before we get started. This is not a question-and-answer session, our staff is here to listen. We’re focusing on what you have to say tonight but we are happy to follow up with you after. If you have any questions, you can email us or you can also give us a call, only the audio of this public comment session will be recorded and your welcome to listen again on our website after tonight’s session. Hopefully everyone that wants to speak has signed up and it looks like we have the list here and I will call your name to come up, please be sure to say your name, your address or the town or community where you are from, that is enough before you begin your comments. All comments should be specific to an Abandoned Mined Land feature or project. So, I will invite Amanda Killen to share her public comments with us.
Amanda Killen: I’m Amanda Killen. I live in Tazewell Virginia. Although tonight, I want to speak on behalf of Hurley. I am the new Economy Program Coordinator for Appalachian Voices, essentially, I coal impacted communities and assist them, technical support on their grant applications and project management, things of that nature.
Appalachian Voices would like to draw your attention to the ongoing flood recovery efforts in Hurley, VA, and discuss how the implementation of the Abandoned Mine Land Program could significantly benefit the residents of this community.
As we are all aware, Hurley recently faced a devastating flood event that has left a lasting impact on the town and its residents. The challenges presented by the aftermath of the flood require a comprehensive and sustainable approach to recovery and preparedness, and we feel the AML Program can play a pivotal role.
The Abandoned Mine Land Program presents a unique opportunity. By directing resources and attention towards Hurley's flood recovery efforts, the program can help alleviate the damage caused by the flood and simultaneously contribute to the reclamation of abandoned mine sites in the region.
Through this program, Virginia Energy could collaborate with local authorities, community organizations, and environmental agencies to restore the affected areas and to implement emergency flooding infrastructure that will help to mitigate future flood risks. This multi-faceted approach not only aids in the town's recovery but also brings a renewed sense of safety and stability to the residents of Hurley.
Furthermore, the AML Program's focus on economic revitalization aligns with the needs of Hurley's residents. By investing in projects that restore the environment and promote local job creation, the program could foster a sustainable and resilient community, which is essential for long-term growth and well-being.
Incorporating the AML Program into Hurley's flood recovery strategy demonstrates a commitment to both environmental stewardship and community welfare. We urge Virginia Energy to consider the potential benefits of this collaboration and explore the ways in which your expertise and resources could positively impact the lives of the people in Hurley.
Additionally, there are sites in Hurley that could potentially need to be evaluated or re-evaluated as problem sites that are currently not listed as priority sites.
We are hosting a community listening session scheduled on September 19th at 5:30pm at Hurley High School to explore how potential funding opportunities, such as the AML program, could benefit the residents of Hurley. We invite you guys to attend.
I will email you the flyer so if you are interested that would be great. That’s all I have.
Tarah Kesterson: That concludes our public listening session, Thank you everyone for coming out.