OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND ENFORCEMENT
Library of COALEX Research Reports
COALEX Research Reports are the products of research and analysis conducted on specific issues relating to the regulation of Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977. The research is conducted in response to requests for information from State Regulatory Authorities, under a cooperative agreement between the Office of Surface Mining (OSM) and the Interstate Mining Compact Commission (IMCC).
COALEX refers to the Library of Surface Mining Materials maintained by OSM in LEXIS-NEXIS and is a major source for the research.
Each Report includes a list of resources which were sent as attachments to the individual who requested the research. To obtain a copy of the attachments or to obtain any additional information, contact Joyce Zweben Scall by phone at 202-686-9138 or by email at JZScall@aol.com.
COALEX STATE INQUIRY REPORT - 121
July 20, 1989
Milton McCarthy, Esquire
State of Alabama
Surface Mining Commission
P.O. Box 2390
Jasper, Alabama 35502-2390
TOPIC: COAL FINES
INQUIRY: A coal mining company wishes to recover some previously mined coal fines from the surface of the ground. The recovery of these coal fines will not involve any actual excavation of overburden, dirt, etc. Is the act of merely recovering the coal fines considered surface coal mining under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA)?
SEARCH RESULTS: Research was conducted using the federal and state decisions on LEXIS. Copies of the relevant decisions are attached.
Four relevant decisions were identified. All four courts determined that the removal of coal from refuse piles or culm banks or the removal of anthracite silt "when no below-surface activity occurs" constitutes "surface coal mining operations under SMCRA." Permits are required and the operators are liable for reclamation fees. U.S. v KENNEDY, 806 F.2d 111 (7th Cir. 1985).
Research conducted by: Joyce Zweben Scall