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History of OSMRE

OSMRE was created under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA) to administer programs for controlling the impacts of surface coal mining operations.

Primary responsibilities include assisting the states and tribes in developing and implementing programs for surface coal mining and reclamation operations to achieve the purposes of SMCRA. 

Telling Our Story

OSMRE works with states and tribes to reclaim abandoned mine lands and regulate coal mines. These efforts ensure that the public and the environment is protected from legacy and active coal mining operations.  

When OSMRE was first established, the Bureau directly enforced mining regulations and reclamation efforts. Decades later, many coal-producing states have developed their own regulatory programs and OSMRE oversees these programs. Today, OSMRE works closely with the states, tribes, local community groups, non-profit organizations, and the coal industry. 

To assist these programs, the Bureau develops new tools and technologies while providing training and technical assistance. OSMRE works with academic institutions and governmental agencies to further science investigation and develop new SMCRA-related technologies. 

Want to learn more about the history of OSMRE? Check out this digital campaign in honor of the 40th Anniversary of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA).