Revitalizing the Economy of Coal Communities by Leveraging Local Activities and Investing More Act of 2017 or the RECLAIM Act of 2017
This bill amends the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA)to make specified funds available to the Department of the Interior through FY2021 for distribution to states and Indian tribes to promote economic revitalization, diversification, and development in economically distressed communities through the reclamation and restoration of land and water resources adversely affected by coal mining carried out before August 3, 1977.
The bill prescribes general requirements for projects to reclaim abandoned mine lands and waters that are likely to create favorable conditions for the economic development of the project site or promote the general welfare through economic and community development of the area in which the project is conducted. Any such project shall be located in a community affected by a recent decline in mining.
A state or Indian tribe that receives funds under this bill may retain a portion of them as necessary to supplement its acid mine drainage abatement and treatment fund for future operation and maintenance costs for the treatment of acid mine drainage associated with individual projects.
The bill increases the minimum amount of funds that Interior must provide annually to states and Indian tribes for reclamation and restoration projects.
The Government Accountability Office must conduct a study on the use of funds authorized by this bill.
The Appalachian Regional Commission may provide grants to individuals or entities in the Appalachian region for projects that have been or that are eligible to be reclaimed or restored under SMCRA.The commission must relocate its headquarters from Washington, DC to the Appalachian region.