On June 3, 2016, the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) announced that is will receive a $400,000 grant from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to help stabilize a surface-mining-related landslide in the Elkins Branch area of Buchanan County. The approximately 15-acre slide area resulting from mining prior to 1977, prior to passage of the federal Surface Mining and Reclamation Act. This resulted in the area becoming an “abandoned mine land” (AML) area. DMME states that the total Elkins Branch reclamation project—including the stabilization, removing the displaced slide material (which is partially blocking Elkins Branch), installing erosion and sediment controls, and revegetating the area—is expected to cost about $2 million and will be one of the largest ever undertaken during the 38 years of Virginia’s AML reclamation program.
State grant to aid in landslide cleanup, Bristol Herald Courier, 6/5/16.
“Water Quality Improvement Grant to help Stabilize Dangerous Landslide in Buchanan County caused by Historic Coal Mining,” Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy News Release, 6/3/16, online (as PDF) at https://www.dmme.virginia.gov/DMME/pdf/news%20releases/2016Releases/ElkinsBranchGrant20160510.pdf.
“Public Notice of Intent to Enter to Conduct Reclamation Activities (Abandoned Mine Land Program) in the Matter of: Elkins Branch Landslide Project,” Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy Public Notice, 7/16/15, online (as PDF) at https://www.dmme.virginia.gov/DMLR/AML/ElkinsBranch-NoticeofIntent.pdf.