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Four Decades of SMCRA in Action

Since August 3, 1977, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), along with its State and Tribal partners, community organizations and industry, has worked to ensure the cleanup of millions of acres of pre- Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) abandoned mine lands and the return of post-SMCRA mined lands to productive and beneficial use. 

OSMRE established the nationwide program to protect the public and the environment from the adverse effects of surface coal mining operations, while balancing the nation’s need for continued domestic coal production with protection of the environment.

OSMRE upholds SMCRA requirements through the following programs:

  • Title IV of SMCRA - Reclaiming Abandoned Mine Lands
  • Title V of SMCRA - Regulating Coal Mines
  • Technology Development and Transfer

Through these programs, OSMRE has launched innovative efforts, such as the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative, the Watershed Cooperative Agreement Program, and the design of comprehensive training and technical assistance programs for States and Tribes.

A photo of President Jimmy Carter signing the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 during a signing ceremony.