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Library of Coalex Research Reports

COALEX Research Reports are the products of research and analysis conducted on specific issues relating to the regulation of Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977.

These Research Reports were conducted in response to requests for information from State Regulatory Authorities, under a cooperative agreement between OSMRE and the Interstate Mining Compact Commission (IMCC).

When using information provided here, it is advisable to review it for current applicability as these reports have not been generated since 1999. 


COALEX Report No. COALEX Report Topic
1 Indian Burial Grounds; Archaeology
2 Penalty Assessment; Administrative Proceedings
3 Performance Bonds and Outstanding Civil Penalties
4 Corporate Officer Liability
5 Bond Forfeiture
6 Court Opinion
7 Hydrologic and Geologic Permitting Requirements
8 Delays in Reclamation Amendments Submitted by Kentucky
9 Indian Lands
10 Water Quality and Control Policy
11 P.L. 95-87 SEC. 521(a)(3) - 90-Day Abatement Period
12 $750/Day Civil Penalty
13 Valid Existing Rights (VER)
14 Self-Bonding
15 Reprocessing of Abandoned Coal Refuse Piles and Coal Silt Dams on Abandoned Mine Lands (AML)
16 Approximate Original Contour (AOC)
17 Permit and Acreage Fees
18 30 CFR SECS. 816, 817, 771, and 775
19 Interpretation of "In Accordance With" and "Consistent With"
20 (1) Intervention/Hearings and Appeals; (2) Interest Rate of Civil Penalty Reimbursement
21 Definition of Operator/Permit
22 Dredging Operations
23 Subsidence Regulations
24 16 2/3 Exemption
25 Planned Subsidence
26 Transportation Facilities/Surface Mining Operations/Bridges & Structures/AML Eligibility
27 Attorney General Action for Collection
28 Reclamation of Previously Disturbed Areas
29 Case Inquiry
30 Loading Facility/Surface Mining Operations
31 Operator Certification for Underground Mining; Bonding Costs; State Civil Penalty Data; and NOV Variance
32 Bond Forfeiture [Addendum to COALEX State Inquiry Report No. 5]
33 Abandoned Mine Lands Fund (AML Fund)
34 Incidental Boundary Revision
35 Water Rights and Replacement
36 AML Fund/States 50% Allocation
37 Alternative Bonding Programs
38 Elimination of Highwalls
39 Water Replacement Bond Release
40 Cessation Orders, 30 CFR SEC. 843.11(e)
41 Section 510(C): Owned or Controlled by
42 Pattern of Violations
43 Civil Penalty Systems
44 States' "Bond Pool" System and Coal Exploration Requirements
45 Topsoil Substitutes
46 Access and Haul Roads
47 16 2/3 Exemption
48 Access and Haul Roads
49 Permit and Acreage Fees
50 Bond Release [Addendum to COALEX STATE INQUIRY No. 39]
51 Prime Farmlands Regulations
52 Abandoned Mine Lands/Heavy Equipment
53 Revegetation Requirements
54 (Report never completed)
55 Permit Denial for Outstanding Fines and Bond Forefeitures
56 Approximate Original Contour (AOC)
57 State Regulatory Program: "Applicable Requirements"
58 Revegetation Requirements [Addendum to REPORT No. 53]
59 Coal Severance Tax
60 Cessation Order (CO)
61 60% Bond Release Requirements
62 Small Operator Assistance Program (SOAP)
63 Postmining Land Uses
64 Blaster Certification
65 Subsidence Regulation--Extraction Percentages
66 Judical Review
67 Mine Subsidence Insurance
68 "Substantial Legal and Financial Commitments"
69 Regulation of Coal Processing Plants
70 Midterm Permit Review
71 AML Discretionary Fund
72 Occupied Dwellings
73 Impoundment Banks
74 Civil Penalty/Reclamation Requirements
75 Notices of Violation (NOV) Issued By OSMRE
76 Exploration Permit Terms
77 Definition of "Pattern of Violations"
78 Coal Exploration: Drilling
79 Overlapping MSHA/SMCRA Impoundments
80 Definition of "Approximate Original Contour (AOC)"
81 Coal Exploration
82 Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) Articles
83 Small Depressions
84 Abandoned Mine Lands Funding Eligibility
85 Legislative History of SMCRA SEC. 522(a)(3)(A) and (B)
86 Definition of "Offsite"
87 Legislative History of SMCRA Section 519(c)
88 Pre-Existing Structures
89 Requirements of SMCRA SEC. 522(a)(4)(B)
90 Damage from Previous Mining
91 Continually Created Valid Existing Rights (VER)
92 Small Area Exemptions
93 Water Rights and Replacement
94 State Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Regulations
95 Coal Exploration Notices: Legislative History
96 Mine Subsidence Insurance [Addendum to STATE INQUIRY REPORT No. 67]
97 Definition of "Perennial Stream"
98 Definition of "Reasonably Available Spoil"
99 Burden of Proof - Show Cause Orders
100 Reclamation Responsibility
101 Permit Information Re. the Right to Subside
102 Forfeiture of Reclamation Bonds; Liability Period
103 30 CFR 816.95 or Stabilization of Surface Areas
104 Indiana ALJ and IBLA Decisions
105 Bond Forfeiture-Relationship of Bond to Permitted Area
106 Constitutionality of the 300 Foot Waiver Requirements
107 Effluent Limitation Requirements
108 Bankrupt Surety Company
109 Duration of Mining Permits for Non-Fuel Mines
110 Extension of the 90-Day Abatement Period for "Good Cause Shown"
111 Termination of Jurisdiction; Wetland Treatment of Acid Mine Drainage (AMD); and Acid Mine Drainage Off the Permit Area
112 Revegetation: Timing
113 Definitions of "Soil" and "Mineral"
114 Survival of Civil Penalties
115 Exemption for Government-Financed Construction
116 Subsidence: An Oversight of Significant Issues
117 Highwall Elimination: Regulations of Indiana, Tennessee, West Virginia, Wyoming, Montana; and Contemporaneous Regulations of Indiana, Tennessee, West Virginia, Wyoming, Montana
118 Major/Minor Permit Revisions
119 Bonding - Legislative History
120 Attorneys' Fees
121 Coal Fines
122 Permitting: A. Permit Application Approval Process; and Impacts on Areas Outside the Permit Boundary
123 Prepayment of Civil Penalties
124 Bonding Programs
125 Revegetation
126 Fly Ash Disposal
127 Sealing Exploratory Drilled Holes; and Sealing Drilled Holes in Active Permit Areas
128 Use of AML Funds to Restore Public Facilities "Adversely Affected by Coal Mining Practices"
129 Landfill as a Postmining Land Use
130 Set-Off of Civil Penalties from Bond Proceeds
131 Individual Liability of Corporate Officer, Director or Agent
132 Inspection of Blast Records
133 Exemption for Government-Financed Construction
134 16 2/3 Exemption (Update of Prior Reports)
135 Definition of "Mine Stability"
136 Definition of "In Connection With" Under "Surface Mining Operations"
137 Updated Information on Bond Rates
138 History of the Two-Acre Exemption
139 Valid Existing Rights (VER)
140 State Surface Coal Mine Regulations Pre-SMCRA
141 Reduction of the Mandatory Civil Penalty
142 Fish and Wildlife Information Requirements
143 Impoundments
144 Third Party Interference Preventing Phase 3 Bond Release
145 Status of Remining Bills
146 Surety's Right to a Hearing in Bond Forfeiture Proceedings
147 Permit, Acreage and Inspection Fees [Update of REPORT No. 17 (1984)]
148 Contractor Liability for Violations; Ownership and Control of Operations
149 Haul Roads and Valid Existing Rights
150 Bonding for Long-Term Facilities
151 An Oversight of Significant Issues [Update of REPORT Nos. 101 and 116]
152 Challenges to Cumulative Hydrologic Impact Assessments (CHIAs)
153 90-Day Abatement Period: Setting a "Reasonable Time" for Abatement
154 State Permitting on Federal Lands
155 Lands Unsuitable for Mining and Valid Existing Rights (VER) in a Severed Mineral Situation
156 Lands Unsuitable for Mining: Definition of "Renewable Resource" and "Fragile or Historic Lands" [Includes COALEX REPORT Nos. 85, 35, 39 and 93]
157 Definition of "Adjacent To" Under "Surface Mining Operations"
158 Citizens' Suits: The 60-Day Letter
159 Review of Permit Applications; Subsidence [Includes REPORT Nos. 101, 122, 135 and 151]
160 Remining Above an Abandoned Mine Site
161 Lands Unsuitable for Mining: Definition of "Natural Hazard Lands" [Incorporates part of COALEX REPORT No. 156 and includes all of REPORT No. 85]
162 Bond Forfeiture: Renumbered Bond
163 Attorneys' Fees
164 Right of Entry Information in Permit Applications
165 Permit Revisions; Incidental Boundary Revisions
166 Permitting of Wetlands: Procedures for Notifying the Army Corps of Engineers
167 Auger Mining: Distance Requirements for Backfilling and Grading
168 Confidentiality of Coal Ownership Information in Permit Applications
169 Ownership and Control; Applicant Violator System
170 Disposal of Coal Processing Waste
171 Permit Renewals: Notification of Sureties; Liabilities of Sureties and Obtaining Deficiency Judgment Against Coal Mining Company Stockholders
172 In Ability to Comply (30 CFR 843.18) [Includes COALEX STATE INQUIRY REPORT No. 141]
173 Coal Removal Incident to Private Development [Includes COALEX REPORT Nos.115 & 133]
174 Agencies Responsible for Issuing Surface Mining and NPDES Permits
175 400 Year Precipitation Event: Liabilities and Remedies for Off-Site Damage
176 Substituting Alternative Materials for Topsoil
177 Subsidence Control: 6 Month Notice
178 Permitting of a Temporary Public Road
179 Inspectable Units List (IUL)
180 Attorneys' Fees in Non-Enforcement, Non-Adversarial Proceedings [Includes REPORT No. 120; updates REPORT Nos. 120 & 163]
181 Current Liability for Acid Mine Drainage Under a Pre-SMCRA Permit
182 Definition of "Soil" and "Mineral" [Update of COALEX REPORT No. 113]
183 Unwarranted Failure to Comply: Definition of “Indifference”, "Lack of Diligence" and "Lack of Reasonable Care" [Includes COALEX REPORT Nos. 141 & 172]
184 Use of Letters of Credit as Reclamation Bonds
185 Self-Bonding
186 Subsidence Insurance
187 Revegetation Productivity Measurements for Phase III Bond Release
188 Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Reclamation; Excess Spoil Disposal [Includes COALEX REPORT Nos. 28 & 176]
189 Subsidence and Public Land Use; Takings
190 Variance from AOC for Partial Mountaintop Removal
191 Is Fill Dirt Considered a "Mineral" for Regulatory Purposes? [Includes STATE INQUIRY REPORT Nos. 134, 47, 24, 113 & 182]
192 Acid Mine Drainage (AMD)
193 Failure to Maintain Sedimentation Ponds (Siltation Structures)
194 Permitting of Utility Lines
195 Reformation of Bond
196 Transfer of a Permit
197 NPDES Permits: State Set Water Quality Standards
198 Definition of "Public Facilities"; Status of Underground Pipelines Within SMCRA
199 Increasing Bond for Operator in Bankruptcy (Exception from Automatic Stay Provisions of Section 362 of Bankruptcy Code)
200 PHC/CHIA Data Collection on Public Roads [Includes COALEX REPORT Nos. 152 & 178]
201 Legislative History of Phrase "Owned or Controlled" [SMCRA 510(C)]
202 Offsite Disposal of Excess Spoil
203 Water Supply Replacement for Underground Mining [Includes COALEX STATE INQUIRY REPORT Nos. 35 & 93]
204 Length of Time for Permit Approval
205 Permitting of Railroad Sidings and Spur Lines
206 Liability Period for Alternate Postmining Land Use
207 Environmental Externalities
208 Extension of Conditions on Federal Coal Lease to State's Permit of Privately-Owned Surface [Includes COALEX REPORT No. 154]
209 Replacement of Topsoil; Permit Requirements "More Stringent Than" the Regulations
210 Definition of or Test for "Valid Existing Rights (VER)"; 2. Subsidence: Compensation for Damaged Structures and Water Supply
211 Buffer Zone for Cemeteries
212 Discretion to Waive Civil Penalties
213 Lands Unsuitable; Valid Existing Rights; Takings [Includes COALEX REPORT Nos. 139, 155, 156 & 189)
214 Definition of "Timing and Frequency of Blasts"
215 Water Quality Standards and Effluent Limitations
216 Utah Rules on Permit Transfers
217 SMCRA-Related Amendments to HR 776 the National Energy Bill (5/92)
218 Army Corps of Engineers
219 Definition of Impoundment [Includes COALEX REPORT No. 143]
220 Petitions for Costs, Expenses and Attorney's Fees
221 NPDES Processing Fees for Surface Coal Mines
222 Permit Revisions and Midterm Permit Reviews
223 Organization of Title IV and Title V Regulatory Agencies
224 Definition of "Operator" and "Permittee"
225 SMCRA Subsidence and Abatement of a Public Nuisance
226 Effluent Limitation Requirements and Damage From Previous Mining [Includes COALEX REPORT Nos. 90 & 107]
227 Citizens' Request for Federal Inspection: Liability for Injury
228 Incidental Boundary Revisions and Insignificant Permit Revisions
229 Attorneys' Fees; II. Definition of "In Connection With"
230 Definition of "No Continuing Reclamation Responsibility"
231 Ownership and Control: "Related Parties" [Includes COALEX REPORT Nos. 131 & 148]
232 Definition of "Operator" [Continuation of REPORT No. 224]
233 Suspension or Revocation of Permit for Insufficient Information; Liability for Attorney's Fees
234 Proper Service
235 Definition of "Material Damage" Re: Hydrologic Balance Outside of the Permit Area
236 Pattern of Violations
237 Fugitive Dust Emission Regulations
238 Permit and Acreage Fees [Updates REPORT Nos. 147 & 17]
239 Historic and Archaeologic Resources
240 Protection of Mineral Resources: Local Zoning Ordinances
241 Replacement of Water Supply - Payment of Ongoing Costs
242 Ten Day Notices: Definition of "Abuse of Discretion"
243 Liability Insurance Coverage
244 Regulation of Sand and Gravel Mining
245 Regulation of Ash Disposal
246 Prime Farmland Conversion
247 Coal Severance Tax [Includes REPORT No. 59]
248 Interpretation of "First Normal Period for Favorable Planting"
249 Initiation of Operations
250 VER: Rights-of-Way Easements for Railroads [Updates COALEX REPORT No. 149]
251 Bond Forfeiture: Insufficient Funds for Reclamation
252 Notices of Violation (NOVs)
253 Grazing Violations [Includes COALEX REPORT Nos. 183,172 & 141]
254 State Program Amendments on Contemporaneous Reclamation and Time and Distance Requirements for Backfilling and Grading
255 Definition of "Adversely Affect any Publicly Owned Park"; Prohibition Against Mining Within 300 Feet of a Public Park
256 Application of Coal Mine Waste Regulations in Backfill Operations
257 Bond Release: Presence of AMD Seep
258 Citizen Suit Provisions: Standing to Sue
259 State Natural Resource Commissions as Multiple Interest Boards; Definition of "Employee"
260 Disposal of Excess Spoil: Drainage Controls for Durable Rock and Valley Fills
261 Signatures on the 300 Foot Waiver
262 Non-Commercial Use of "Other Minerals"
263 Bond Release/Bond Forfeiture
264 Mining Within 300 Feet of a Public Building
265 733 Procedures
266 Attorney's Fees [Updates COALEX REPORT Nos. 120,163,180 & 220]
267 Alternative to Topsoil
268 Improvidently Issued Permit
269 Surety as "Permittee" or "Operator"
270 Definition of "A Loaded Hole"
271 Revegetation Productivity Measurements
272 Alluvial Valley Floors (AVF): Definition of "Not Significant to Farming" or "Negligible Impact on Farm's Agricultural Production"
273 Temporary Cessation of Operations
274 Permitting of the "Shadow Area"
275 Revocation of Permit as a Result of Administrative Errors
276 Definition of: "Current Prudent Engineering Practices"
277 Definition of "In Situ Processes"
278 Availability of Permit Inspection and Enforcement Records
279 Operator/Permittee Liability for Fees; Ownership & Control/Applicant Violator System (AVS)
280 Rescission Procedures for Improvidently Issued Permits
281 Eligibility for Attorney's Fees
282 Definition of "Damage" in Phrase: "Protect Offsite Areas from Slides and Damage"
283 Transferability of Valid Existing Rights (VER)
284 Changes in Approved Drainage Design
285 Root Material in Topsoil
286 Bond Release on Interim Permit Sites; Controlling Performance Standards [Includes COALEX REPORT No. 181]
287 Exemption for Government-Financed Construction [Updates COALEX REPORT Nos. 115,133 & 262]
288 Right of Entry on Navigable Waterway
289 Mine Risk Assessment to Determine Mine Inspection Frequency
290 Definition of "Higher and Better Use"
291 Surface and Ground Water Monitoring
292 Highwall Elimination & AOC: "Blending In"
293 Moving Equipment Off Permit Area [Includes COALEX REPORT Nos. 136 & 157]
294 Cyanidation; Chemical Leaching
295 "Burden of Proof" Requirements at Different Administrative Hearings
296 Landowner Refusing Right of Entry for Reclamation [Includes COALEX REPORT Nos. 141 & 172]
297 Federal Advisory Committee Act
298 775.11(B) Hearing Within 30 Days of Permit Denial & Decision Within 30 Days of Hearing
299 Material Damage to Structures as a Result of Subsidence
300 Denial of Administrative Expenses
301 Legislative History of 1989-90 AML Legislation
302 Surface Effects of Underground Non-Coal Mine
303 Retirement of Partner From Continuing Partnership; Coal Removal Incident to Private Development [Includes COALEX REPORT Nos. 173 & 262]
304 Federal Inspections - Definition of “Arbitrary, Capricious or an Abuse of Discretion" Under 30 CFR 842.11(b)(1)(ii)(B)(2)
305 "Substantial Economic Loss" Or "Conditions Beyond the Control of the Permittee" As Reasons for Extending the Initiation of Operations
306 Procedures for Forfeiture of Surety Bonds
307 Definition of "Occupied Dwelling"; Adjudication of Property Rights [Includes COALEX REPORT Nos. 72 & 288]
308 "In Connection With " Continuation of COALEX REPORT No. 293]
309 Imposition of Individual Civil Penalties for Corporate Violations [Update of COALEX REPORT No. 131]
310 Postmining Land Use Change - Surface Mining
311 Water Rights and Replacement Update
312 Is a Bankruptcy Trustee Considered an "Owner or Operator"?
313 Legislative History of Surface Mining Regulation
314 Regulation of Non-Coal on Federal Lands
315 Small Operator Assistance Program (SOAP)
316 Coal Refuse Disposal in Valleys with Streams
317 State Regulations Which are Inconsistent with Federal SMCRA
318 Government Immunity: State's Liability When Cleaning Up Waste at AML Sites
319 Monitoring Ground Vibration Limits
320 Regulation of Sites with Oil or Gas Operations and Coal Mining Operations
321 Transfer, Assignment or Sale of Permit Rights
322 Settlement of Civil Penalties
323 Definition of "All Anticipated Mining in Cumulative Impact Area" [Includes COALEX REPORT No. 152]
324 Surface Mining Permit as "Property of the Estate" of Bankrupt Operator
325 Definition of "Structure" on Abandoned Mine (AML) Sites
326 Prepayment of Civil Penalties [Update of COALEX REPORT No. 123]
327 Ownership & Control: Definition of "Controlled" [Update of COALEX REPORT No. 231, which includes REPORT Nos. 148 & 131]
328 Attorneys' Fees
329 Update on 16 2/3 Exemptions, Incidental Development, and Definition of "Mineral"
330 Guidelines on "Best Management Practices" for Mining
331 Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) and Hydrologic Balance [Update of REPORT No. 192]
332 Valid Existing Rights (VER) [Update]
333 Takings [Update]
334 Public Notice Requirements for Permit Modification
335 Preblast Survey
336 Modification of a Terminated Notice of Violation (NOV)
337 Applicability of State Administrative Procedure Act Provisions to SMCRA; Decisions RE: Replacement of Water Supply
338 Definition and Disposal of Coal Processing Waste
339 Legislative History of SMCRA Sections 506, 507 & 510
340 10-Year 24-Hour Precipitation Events
341 Approximate Original Contour (AOC)
342 522(a)(6) - "Substantial Legal and Financial Commitment"
343 Permitting of Noncoal Surface Mining Operations
344 Transferability of VER for Haul Roads
345 Use of Taggants in Explosives
346 Damage to Structures and Replacement of Water Supplies
347 State SMCRA Program Amendments Relating to EPA Regulations
348 What Constitutes "Receipt" of a Record for a FOIA Request?
349 Right of Entry: Inspector's Presentation of Credentials
350 Restoring the Land to its Premining "Capability"