Office of Surface Mining


Office of Surface Mining
Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement
US-OfficeOfSurfaceMining-MetalSeal.svg
Seal
Agency overview
Headquarters 1951 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C.
Employees 500 (2008)
Annual budget $170 million, discretionary (2008)
Agency executive Joe Pizarchik, Director
Parent agency Department of the Interior
Website
www.osmre.gov

The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM or OSMRE) is a branch of the United States Department of the Interior. It is the federal agency entrusted with the implementation and enforcement of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA), which attached a per-ton fee to all extracted coal in order to fund an interest-accruing trust to be used for reclamation of abandoned mine lands[1], as well as established a set environmental standards that mines must follow while operating, and achieve when reclaiming mined land, in order to minimize environmental impact [2]. OSM has about 500 employees[3], who work in either the national office in Washington, DC or of the many regional and field offices(OSM's Three Regions). As of November 06, 2009, OSM is directed by Joe Pizarchik .[4]

OSM Regional Structure Map


OSM has three main functions:

  • Regulating active mines
  • Reclaiming lands damaged by surface mining and abandoned mines
  • Providing resources for technical assistance, training, and technology development [2]

Contents

Regulating Active Mines

The Office of Surface Mining is responsible for the enforcement of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977; this includes setting regulatory guidelines. The actual regulation of mines is primarily done on a state level and tribal level, but OSM is charged with inspection of the state programs to meet the standard of quality. OSM regularly inspects state programs to make sure they are meeting the required standards; if they do not meet the required standards the OSM can take over. For example, when in the fiscal year of 2003 Missouri was unable to meet the federal requirements due to a lack of funding, OSM stepped in to assume partial control of the state program.

OSM employee inspecting a mine

OSM took control of the following in Missouri:

  • Training, examination, and certification of blasters
  • Areas unsuitable for mining
  • Small Operator Assistance

OSM continued to run the above parts of Missouri's mining program until Missouri improved its program, which took place on Feb. 1, 2006. Missouri now receives federal funding. [5]


Reclaiming abandoned mine lands

Abandoned mine lands are lands and waters adversely impacted by inadequately reclaimed surface coal mining operations on lands that were not subject to the reclamation requirements of the Surface Mining Law.[6] Environmental problems associated with abandoned mine lands include surface and ground water pollution, entrances to open mines, water-filled pits, unreclaimed or inadequately reclaimed refuse piles and minesites (including some with dangerous highwalls), sediment-clogged streams, damage from landslides, and fumes and surface instability resulting from mine fires and burning coal refuse. Environmental restoration activities under the abandoned mine reclamation program correct or mitigate these problems.

Initiatives

The Appalachian Coal Country Team was founded in response to requests from watershed groups throughout coal country. The Coal Country Team arms community organizations and watershed-based projects with the training, tools, and volunteer support necessary to help local citizens become effective environmental stewards, community leaders, and accelerators of change in places indelibly marked by the environmental legacy of pre-regulatory coal mining.


OSM's Bat conservation project was begun December 15, 1998 when OSM signed a MOU with Bat Conservation International, Inc. in order to establish a framework for cooperative efforts between the two organizations to maintain and increase the conservation of bats and their habitats. Under this agreement, OSM would (1) Consider the conservation of bats and their habitats in the development and implementation of abandoned mine land (AML) reclamation standards and recommendations to States and Indian Tribes; (2) Provide assistance in the development of AML programs to help manage bats and their habitats; (3) For Federal Programs, monitor non-emergency AML shaft and portal areas for bat activity prior to reclamation; (4) As appropriate, require the use of bat gates to seal the shafts of portals where bat habitation is known and would be endangered if sealed otherwise. OSM will encourage the States and Tribes to do the same; and (5) Promote the education of OSM staff, State agencies, and Indian Tribes as to: the beneficial aspects of conserving bats, tested methods to safeguard bat habitat and public health, and ways to mitigate for loss of bat roosts and habitat.

See also

References

  1. ^ [1] GIS Mine Post, Spring 2009
  2. ^ Bernhard, Karrie. "Surface Mining Law". http://www.osmre.gov/topic/smcra/smcra.shtm. Retrieved 22 November 2011. 
  3. ^ "2008 Annual Report". Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. http://www.osmre.gov/Reports/AnnualReport/2008/FY08.shtm. Retrieved 22 November 2011. 
  4. ^ Williams, LaShonne P. (2008-06-27). "OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND ENFORCEMENT ORGANIZATION CHART" (PDF). Office of Surface Mining. http://www.osmre.gov/aboutus/organization.pdf. Retrieved 2008-07-30. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Land Reclamation Program". Protecting Missouri's Natural Resources. Missouri Department of Natural Resources. 2007-01. http://www.dnr.mo.gov/env/pmnr/pmnr07-01.htm. Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  6. ^ Office of Surface Mining "Surface Mining Law"

External links



Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Surface mining — is a type of mining in which soil and rock overlying the mineral deposit are removed. It is the opposite of underground mining, in which the overlying rock is left in place, and the mineral removed through shafts or tunnels. Surface mining is… …   Wikipedia

  • Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 — The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA) is the primary federal law that regulates the environmental effects of coal mining in the United States.SMCRA created two programs: one for regulating active coal mines and a second… …   Wikipedia

  • Mining — This article is about the extraction of geological materials from the Earth. For the municipality in Austria, see Mining, Austria. For the siege tactic, see Mining (military). For name of the Chinese emperor, see Daoguang Emperor. Simplified… …   Wikipedia

  • Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research — The Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) is a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). OAR is also referred to as NOAA Research. NOAA Research is the research and development arm of NOAA and is the… …   Wikipedia

  • Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy — The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) is an office within the United States Department of Energy that invests in high risk, high value research and development in the fields of energy efficiency and renewable energy… …   Wikipedia

  • Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability — The Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE) is a program office within the United States Department of Energy. The mission of OE is to lead national efforts to modernize the electric grid; enhance security and reliability of… …   Wikipedia

  • Office of Insular Affairs — The Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) is a unit of the United States Department of the Interior that oversees federal administration of several United States possessions. It is the successor to the Bureau of Insular Affairs of the War Department,… …   Wikipedia

  • Office of Community Development — The Office of Community Development (OCD) is a part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture s Rural Development activities. OCD operates community development programs and initiatives throughout rural America and provides technical support to USDA… …   Wikipedia

  • Mining industry of Ghana — accounts for 5% of the country s GDP and minerals make up 37% of total exports, of which gold contributes over 90% of the total mineral exports. Thus, the main focus of Ghana s mining and minerals development industry remains focused on gold.… …   Wikipedia

  • Mining in the United Kingdom — Kellingley Colliery on the border of West and North Yorkshire. Mining in the United Kingdom produces a wide variety of mineral fuels, metals, and industrial minerals. In 2006, there were over 2200 active mines, quarries, and offshore drilling… …   Wikipedia


We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.