This photo supplied by Virginia Energy shows the erosion.

Runoff from an historic coal mine is being diverted from nearby homes in Wise County, according to a release from the Virginia Department of Energy.

The residences are directly down slope from where a surface coal mine operated until 1973. An Abandoned Mine Land grant of $218,166 will establish erosion controls and install drains to divert water from the site. The Virginia Department of Energy (Virginia Energy) oversees the AML program that develops projects to reclaim issues caused by coal mining before 1977.

“Unfortunately water runoff is a common problem associated with Virginia’s historic mining sites,” said Virginia Energy AML Projects Coordinator Lesa Baker. We evaluate the impact of each and every site to make sure we cover the greatest need first. Diverting water from these homes not only increases safety, it reduces environmental impacts for those living near this site.”

Tru-Line Pipe Line LLC was awarded the contract. Work is expected to be completed at this site in March.

Meanwhile, work will begin soon on another abandoned mine site along Pinewood Forest Road in Wise County. An AML grant of $24,008 will repair several concerns, including an existing ditch, to re-establish proper drainage to the site and surrounding areas.

Surface mining was completed on that site in 1976. 

McFall Excavating Inc. was awarded the contract for this project. Once reclamation is complete, improvements on this project will control erosion, drainage and direct water away from multiple homes located along Pinewood Forest Road. The project is expected to be completed next month.

Virginia Energy’s Abandoned Mine Land program was established after the passing of the Surface Mine Control and Reclamation Act in 1977. The agency manages a federal grant to reclaim issues caused by historic mining. It is funded by the Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation Enforcement.

On Oct. 1, the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy became Virginia Energy. The Abandoned Mine Land program now falls under the Mined Land Repurposing program within Virginia Energy.

An aerial view of the project in Pound. Courtesy of Virginia Department of Energy.
The ditch in Pinewood Forest in Wise County that needs to be repaired. Courtesy of Virginia Department of Energy.