U.S. Department of the Interior

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For More Information:

Michael C. Castle

Field Office Director

Knoxville Field Office (KFO)

Contact OSMRE


Knoxville Field Office (KFO)

The Knoxville Field Office (KFO), serves as the Regulatory Authority in Tennessee. KFO is responsible for permitting, inspection, and enforcement actions in Tennessee, North Carolina, and Georgia.

The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA) created the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) in the Department of the Interior. SMCRA provides authority to OSMRE to oversee the implementation of and provide Federal funding for state regulatory programs that have been approved by OSMRE as meeting the minimum standards specified by SMCRA. The Act also provides authority for OSMRE to implement a Federal regulatory program in states without approved regulatory programs. In Tennessee, OSMRE implemented the Federal regulatory program in October 1984 when the State repealed its surface mining law. OSMRE also has regulatory authority responsibilities for surface coal mining activities in the states of Georgia and North Carolina because they never adopted approved state programs under SMCRA.


Specific responsibilities of KFO include:

  • Provide information and education to the public and industry
  • Evaluate the TN AML Program
  • Review of Land Unsuitable for Mining petitions
  • Support for OSMRE’s Technical Information Systems (TIPS)
  • Implement Federal Blaster Certification Program
  • Evaluate performance bonds, bond release applications, and reclamation of forfeiture sites
  • Assess civil penalties and administer civil penalty assessment conferences
  • Support and assist local watershed groups
  • Coordinate with State and Federal agencies to minimize the impacts of surface coal mining operations
  • Remediate acid mine drainage from abandoned mined land that adversely affects creeks and streams
  • Participate in the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative (ARRI) and encourage permittees to use the Forestry Reclamation Approach (FRA)

Page Last Modified/Reviewed: 5/3/19

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