Press Release

June 5, 2008


Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and
Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today announced the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) has awarded $100,000 to Frostburg State University (FSU) for the FSU Coal & Shale Analysis Laboratory, which will provide chemical analysis of coal and shale reserves in Western Maryland.

“This federal funding is an investment in jobs today and jobs tomorrow. If Western Maryland is going to be more competitive, we must focus on funding that develops new technologies for industries that keep us on the move,” said Senator Mikulski. “I’m so proud these grants will be used to provide new, good paying jobs that benefit the environment and local industry. I will continue to fight in the U.S. Senate for this funding which helps support our Western Maryland communities.”

“This ARC grant will fund an important partnership between FSU and DNR to chemically analyze coal and shale to determine the most environmentally sound methods of disposal,” said Senator Cardin. “This initiative is a win-win for Western Maryland because it benefits both the coal industry and the environment.”

ARC funds will be used to purchase equipment for the FSU Coal & Shale Analysis Laboratory. The chemical analysis this lab will provide will determine the quality of coal and shale in Western Maryland reserves, catalog this information using spatial mapping technology, and provide it in a format accessible and useful to industry. The lab will allow FSU to partner with the state Department of Natural Resources, Western Maryland Resource Conservation and Development Council, Inc. the Maryland Bureau of Mines, and the U.S. Geographical Survey to develop the best method for collection, analysis, cataloging of information, and dissemination of information for easy access and future reference.

ARC funding for this project is provided through a special ARC regional initiative which targets funds to encourage and support energy. In addition to ARC funds, local sources will provide $100,000, bringing the total project funding to $200,000.

The ARC is a federal-state partnership that works with the people of Appalachia to create opportunities for self-sustaining economic development and improved quality of life.