West Virginia increased a reclamation tax on coal mining from 3¢ to 14¢ a ton, effective next January 1. The measure passed the state legislature on September 15. The new rate would remain in effect through March 2005, after which it would drop to 7¢ a ton. The tax applies to all surface mining of coal, including recovery of coal from gob piles and silt ponds. The money collected from the tax is used to clean up abandoned mines.