U.S. Department of the Interior

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Proposed Rulemaking for Self-Bonding and Financial Assurance


Under SMCRA 509(c) there are several avenues for coal mining companies to provide financial guarantees that mining operations would be reclaimed. 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 >>

May 18: Read the News Release "OSMRE Seeks Public Comment on a Petition Regarding Self-Bonding for Coal Mines"

June 16: Read the News Release "Extends Public Comment Period on Petition Regarding Self-Bonding for Coal Mines"

August 5: Read the OSMRE Policy Advisory: Self-Bonding

August 9: Read the News Release "OSMRE Issues Policy Advisory Regarding Use of Self-bonding For Coal Mine Reclamation"

August 16: Read the News Release "OSMRE to Initiate Rulemaking on Self-Bonding for Coal Mines"

Public Participation

OSMRE sought comments on a petition, submitted pursuant to the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA), requesting that we amend our self-bonding regulations to ensure that companies with a history of financial insolvency, and their subsidiary companies, are not allowed to self-bond coal mining operations. Review the petition at

Page Last Modified/Reviewed: 6/6/17

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