Virginia Oversight Program
The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) serves a large and varied group of people, organizations and agencies throughout the Commonwealth. Through its six divisions, the agency regulates the mineral industry, provides mineral research and offers advice on wise use of resources. Its programs directly serve the citizens who live near mining operations, mining labor groups, other regulatory agencies, the educational community, the mineral industry, and environmental, consumer and industry special-interest groups.
The DMME's Division of Mined Land Reclamation (DMLR) is responsible for ensuring the reclamation of land affected by surface and underground coal mining activity. Major functions include regulating surface effects of coal mining, reclaiming abandoned mine lands, issuing permits, performing inspections, assisting small operators, and responding to citizen concerns. Through permitting, mine inspections, operator assistance, and training activities, the DMLR promotes an environmentally sound mining industry throughout Virginia's coalfield counties of Buchanan, Wise, Dickenson, Tazewell, Russell, Lee, and Scott.
The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA) establishes criteria whereby Virginia has assumed primary responsibility for the implementation of the provisions of SMCRA at all coal mines in the state. OSM is required by statute and policy to conduct evaluations of the Virginia program and report to Congress annually on the State's effectiveness in implementing the approved program. The evaluation is carried out within the general guidelines of an annual work plan. The OSM's Big Stone Gap, Virginia Area Office and the Virginia Division of Mined Land Reclamation draft an annual work plan for each evaluation year July 1 through June 30. We are responsive to public and industry concerns, and desire input and involvement in our oversight activities. We will use this page to announce Oversight Outreach Development and Review Periods as they occur.
OUTREACH FOR REVIEW OF THE PROPOSED OVERSIGHT PERFORMANCE AGREEMENT
We are soliciting comments from citizens, environmental groups, industry and other interested parties regarding our Proposed Oversight Performance Agreements, which can be found by clicking on the Oversight Database link (below). Please submit your comments for our consideration from May 1-15, 2013, by email or in writing to the contact below. As a part of that process, we welcome comments and suggestions from interested parties on oversight and/or potential oversight evaluation topics, including the opportunity for discussions with our office.
Public Participation and Outreach
OSM along with respective State and Tribal Programs jointly develop an Annual Performance Agreement* July 1 to June 30 to establish how oversight is conducted. We are responsive to public and industry concerns, and desire input and involvement in our oversight activities. We will use this page to announce Oversight Outreach Development and Review Periods as they occur. All of our REG-8 Oversight documents, proposed and final, can be found by searching our REG-8 Oversight Database.
*Somes states develop "bi-annual" performance plans.
Oversight DocumentsTo view oversight documents see ODOCS, OSM's REG-8 Oversight Database:
|OSM defines "oversight", as the "process of evaluating and assisting states [and tribes] in the administration, implementation, and maintenance of approved programs. In collaboration with each state/tribe, OSM develops a Performance Agreement/Evaluation Plan tailored to the unique conditions of each state/tribe program. Performance Agreements/Evaluation Plans between OSM and the states establish how oversight is conducted during each evaluation year.|
For more information on OSM's oversight process see Oversight of Surface Coal Mining.
Office of Surface Mining
For more information about the State's Program go to: http://www.dmme.virginia.gov/