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OSMRE opens nomination period for the 2023 Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Awards


Date: March 1, 2023

WASHINGTON — Nominations for the 2023 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 May 12.

Presented in partnership with the National Association of Abandoned Mine Land Programs, OSMRE recognizes exemplary reclamation projects that reclaim sites mined and abandoned prior to 1977. 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 receiving 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 introduced or refined techniques to achieve superior results in returning abandoned mine lands to productive use. Recent award-winning projects featured reforestation techniques, geomorphic land restoration, the creation of wetlands to mitigate acid mine drainage, landslide stabilization, watershed improvement, and other strategies to improve public health and safety and environmental conditions.                                                                                                        

The U.S. Department of the Interior made available nearly $725 million in fiscal year 2022 funding for 22 states and the Navajo Nation to reclaim AML sites 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.

For 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.