U.S. Department of the Interior

Share Button
Graphic of trees and lake scenery.

For More Information:

Earl Bandy

Field Office Director
(865) 545-4103 Ext: 186

Knoxville Field Office (KFO)

Contact OSMRE



In Tennessee, OSMRE has operated a Federal regulatory program as the primary regulator under SMCRA since October 1984 when the State repealed its surface mining law. OSMRE also has regulatory authority responsibilities for surface coal mining activities in the State of Georgia since they have never adopted an approved State program under SMCRA. The annual report on the Tennessee and Georgia Federal Program for the period of October 1, 2009, to September 30, 2010, can be viewed on the Annual Reports sections of our OSMRE website.

OSMRE's Knoxville Field Office is in charge of oversight of the Tennessee Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Program implemented by the State of Tennessee's Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC). TDEC is required to follow the guidelines set by OSMRE Directives AML 22, Evaluation of State and Tribal Abandoned Mine Land Programs; GMT 10, Federal Assistance Manual; and AML 1, Abandoned Mine Land Inventory. The Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Plan between OSMRE and TDEC assures each agency accomplishes the goals of Title IV of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) and Tennessee Statute 59-8-324, States Program to Acquire and Reclaim Land Disturbed by Past Mining; and Rules of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Chapter 400-1-24, Abandoned Mine Lands Reclamation Program. You may find more information on Tennessee's Abandoned Mine Land Program.

State Contacts

Abandoned Mine Lands (Title IV) Regulatory (Title V)
State Program Links
Tennessee Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Program

Tennessee Lands Unsuitable for Mining Petition

View of the Tennessee Lands Unsuitable for Mining petition area.

View of the Tennessee Lands Unsuitable for Mining petition area.

Under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA), a member of the public may petition a state regulatory authority to declare areas not otherwise precluded from coal mining operations as "lands unsuitable for mining" (LUM). Such a designation would mean that no new surface coal mining permits could be issued within the designated area.

As the SMCRA regulatory authority in Tennessee, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) is evaluating a petition to designate more than 67,000 acres as unsuitable for surface coal mining. The bureau began work on the petition in 2010 after the State of Tennessee petitioned OSMRE to designate certain ridge lines and connecting corridors within the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area and Emory River Tract Conservation Easement under the discretionary provisions of Section 522 of SMCRA. The petition seeks to prevent surface mining within 600 feet on either side of ridge lines within the 269 square miles of the two areas. Read more >

Abandoned Mine Land (AML)

Tennessee Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Projects

To comply with NEPA notification provisions and for the convenience of the public, the NEPA determination documents for projects in Tennessee authorized after October 1, 2014, are available on the Tennessee Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Projects page in PDF version.

Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Reclamation Plans PDF icon.

Annual Evaluation Reports PDF icon.

Page Last Modified/Reviewed: 12/14/15

Appalachian Region, OSMRE, 3 Parkway Center, Pittsburgh, PA 15220
(412) 937-2815 | Fax: (412) 937-3012 | Email:

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