U.S. Department of the Interior

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For More Information:

Michael Castle

Field Office Director

Knoxville Field Office (KFO)

Contact OSMRE



In Tennessee, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) has operated a Federal regulatory program as the primary regulator under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA) since October 1984 when the State repealed its surface mining law.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 states of Georgia and North Carolina since they never adopted approved state programs under SMCRA. The annual evaluation reports for the Tennessee and Georgia Federal Program for evaluation years from 1996 to 2016 can be accessed below.

OSMRE's Knoxville Field Office (KFO) 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 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 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, OSMRE evaluated a petition that designated 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 ridgelines 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 sought to prevent surface mining within 600 feet on either side of ridgelines 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: 11/30/17

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