Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Nomination period opens for the 2022 Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Awards

Date: Thursday, March 18, 2022

WASHINGTON — Nominations for the 2022 Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Awards, which recognize outstanding state and Tribal efforts to reclaim abandoned coal mines, opened today and are due to the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement by 11:59 p.m. ET on June 17, 2022. 

Presented in partnership with the National Association of Abandoned Mine Land Programs, OSMRE recognizes exemplary reclamation projects, which reclaim sites that were mined and abandoned prior to 1977. Today, the AML Reclamation Awards are the highest honor a reclamation program can achieve.  

Each year, OSMRE presents the following AML awards: 

  • National Award: Presented to the state or Tribe with the best overall reclamation project.
  • Small Project Award: Presented to the state or Tribe that receives less than $6 million annually in AML funding and completes a project costing less than $1 million.
  • Regional Awards: Presented to the state or Tribe with the best project within each of the following regions: Appalachian States, Interior States, and Western States and Tribes.

Previous AML Award winners have introduced or refined techniques to achieve superior results in returning mines to productive use. Recent award-winning projects have featured reforestation techniques, geomorphic land restoration, the creation of wetlands to mitigate acid mine drainage, landslide stabilization, and watershed improvement, among others. 

On February 7, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced nearly $725 million in fiscal year 2022 funding for 22 states and the Navajo Nation to reclaim AML as part of President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which allocates a total of $11.3 billion in AML funding over 15 years to help communities eliminate dangerous environmental conditions and pollution caused by past coal mining. Subsequently, on March 4, 2022, the Interior Department announced an additional $144 million in fiscal year 2022 funding for states and Tribes for abandoned mine land reclamation efforts.

Find more information about the awards, eligibility, and the nomination process and requirements, visit AML Reclamation Awards. Submit nominations or questions about the awards to OSMRE at


OSMRE carries out the requirements of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 in cooperation with states and Tribes. OSMRE’s objectives are to ensure that coal mining activities are conducted in a manner that protects citizens and the environment during mining, to ensure that the land is restored to beneficial use after mining, and to mitigate the effects of past mining by aggressively pursuing reclamation of abandoned coal mines.