U.S. Department of the Interior

Graphic of trees and lake scenery.

Reclamation Performance Bonds

Bonding Overview

The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA or the Act) provides that, as a prerequisite for obtaining a coal mining permit, a person must post a reclamation bond to ensure that the regulatory authority will have sufficient funds to reclaim the site if the permittee fails to complete the reclamation plan approved in the permit.

There are three major types of reclamation bonds: corporate surety bonds, collateral bonds (cash; certificates of deposit; first-lien interests in real estate; letters of credit; federal, state, or municipal bonds; and investment-grade securities), and self bonds (legally binding corporate promises without separate surety or collateral, available only to permittees who meet certain financial tests). State regulatory programs vary somewhat in terms of which financial instruments are acceptable. A few states also have exercised their discretion to exclude the self-bond option. << Read More >>

Bonding Instruments and Contracts

  • Directive REG-28: Bond Forms and Procedures
    NOTE: “Please disregard the appendices with respect to forms that must be submitted by the permit applicant or permittee. Readers should instead refer to the link below, which contains all bond forms currently approved by OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act."
  • Link to Bond Forms

Director's Policy Advisory: Self-Bonding (August 9, 2016)

Reclamation Cost Estimate and Determining Bond Amount

  • Directive TSR-1: Handbook for Calculation of Reclamation Bond Amounts
  • Reclamation Cost Calculator software (to be used with the Handbook)
  • Version 2.4.9* is now ready for download. This version adds the ability to print reports to plain text files or to PDF files. You will need this password to complete these installations: osm!z6n0/

    This installation will install program file, help files, new version of the Borland Database Engine, and empty database tables. If you already have the Mine Bond Calculator installed on your machine, this installation will overwrite any data you may have entered into the database. Click Here to download the program. Note the file is a 19 MB zip file.

    After you have installed version 2.4.9 and if you are having problems getting the database to open, there are 3 files that you can delete. They are “”, “pdoxusrs.lck”, and “paradox.lck”. You can use the search utility of windows to find these files. Delete them and run the program again.

    * Installation requires Windows 7 32 bt configuration.

Alternative Bonding Systems:

Secretarial MBO on Alternative Bonding Systems (December 4, 1990)

Director Memorandum (January 18, 1991)

Page Last Modified/Reviewed: 4/24/17

Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 1849 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20240
(202) 208-2565 | TTY: (202) 208-2694 | Email:

Accessibility | Disclaimer | FOIA | No Fear | Notices | Privacy | DOI |