On August 8, the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) announced five grants worth more than $5 million to spur economic development and job creation in Eastern Kentucky. Two of the grants awarded by the EEC’s Division of Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) are part of Kentucky’s $30 million portion of the federal AML Pilot program, first funded in 2016 through the U.S. Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation Enforcement (OSMRE), to help revive communities in coal-producing states hardest hit by the downturn of the coal industry in recent years.
The announcements are part of a joint effort with Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR), a grassroots effort to revitalize the future of Eastern Kentucky. The grants will be put toward the Breathitt County Fiscal Court South Fork elk view water line and campground, and the Hazard Community and Technical College utility training program.
Also announced were $2 million in U. S. Army Corps of Engineers grants for three infrastructure projects in Eastern Kentucky. The grants will fund a water line extension for a federal prison at Roxanna in Letcher County, three miles of new sewer mains and pumping stations in Leslie County, and replacement of sewer pipes and manholes in Knott County.