Mining and Mine Reclamation Resource Library

Tip: To search for key words in this library, use your computer's "Find" tool. On a PC, press Ctrl + F. On a Mac, press Command + F. 

Jump to: Federal Resources | NGO Resources

FEDERAL RESOURCES

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
Abandoned Mine Lands Resources
This webpage includes basic information, technical reports, and more related to EPA's Abandoned Mine Lands Program.

Clu-In Webinars on Mining Sites
Archives of webinars on technology-related resources and training opportunities associated with characterization, cleanup, and redevelopment of abandoned mine sites. 

Overview of U.S. EPA’s Technical Outreach and Support Activities on Sustainable Mining Applications
Highlights of alternative and innovative technologies for remediating abandoned mine sites.

Reference Guide to Treatment Technologies for Mining-Influenced Water 
An EPA report that highlights select mining-influenced water treatment technologies used or piloted as part of remediation efforts at mine sites.

RE-Powering America’s Land Initiative 
This initiative identifies the renewable energy potential of current and formerly contaminated lands, landfills, and mine sites and provides other useful resources for communities, developers, industry, state and local governments or anyone interested in reusing these sites for renewable energy development.

RePowering Mapping and Screening Tools
EPA’s RE-Powering Mapper, a series of Google Earth KMZ files, makes it possible to view EPA's information about renewable energy potential on contaminated lands, landfills, and mine sites, alongside other information contained in Google Earth. Using screening criteria developed in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Lab, EPA has pre-screened over 80,000 sites for their renewable energy potential.  As part of this effort, EPA collaborated with state agencies from California, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.  This screening was performed in August 2015.

 

U.S. FOREST SERVICE
Water and Soil Resource Management in Daniel Boone National Forest
This webpage has information regarding some of the water and soil resource management efforts that have taken place in this national forest. 

Water Availability Tool for Environmental Resources (WATER) - Kentucky
WATER was developed to provide a method of estimating streamflow, water availability, and other hydrologic information in un-gaged Kentucky basins. WATER incorporates and processes geospatial data to quantitatively describe topography, soil-water storage, climate, streamflow, and other parameters. WATER is also designed so that it can be expanded for other science and regulatory applications including, but not limited to, sediment and nutrient loads, evaluation of surface mining effects (Cumulative Hydrologic Impact Assessments), as well as flows that are necessary for ecological viability. 
 

U.S. NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
Abandoned Mineral Lands Handbook
A summary of the Abandoned Mineral Lands Program in the National Park System. The National Park Service notes that there is a lot of relevant information in this 1992 handbook, but some of the costs and technologies are dated. 

Abandoned Mineral Lands Southeast Region Summary
The National Park Service Southeast Region Abandoned Mineral Lands Inventory and Assessment fieldwork and preliminary reporting concluded in June 2012. A total of seven parks were inventoried under contract during this initiative, with park-specific reports being developed as a final deliverable in addition to being included in the Servicewide AML database. Additional SER parks submitted their respective data to the database, collected by park personnel. This information will serve as the foundation for most future AML efforts and funding opportunities. Click the link for additional information. 

Abandoned Mineral Lands Website
Information and resources regarding Abandoned Mineral Lands within National Parks.

Water Quality Partnership - Big South Fork
This element of the National Water Quality Program empowers U.S. Geological Survey scientists and National Park Service resource managers to work in partnership to support a broad range of policy and management needs related to high-priority water-quality issues in national parks. In the Big South Fork, project work has included 1) 1999 - Develop Stream Flow Measurement Network; 2) 2002 - Effects of Oil and Gas Operations on Ground-Water Quality 3) 2004 - Restoration of Federally Listed Mussel Species and Water Quality Monitoring in Heavily Coal Mined Area; 4) 2015 - Determine Occurrence, Sources, and Potential for Biodegradation of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals in Protected-River Systems of the National Park Service Southeast Region; 5) 2006 Fate and transport of petroleum hydrocarbons in soil and ground water
 

U.S. OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND ENFORCEMENT
Abandoned Mine Lands Grants
Information regarding grant distribution and funding for the Abandoned Mine Lands Program. 

Abandoned Mine Land Inventory System
The Abandoned Mine Land Inventory System is a computer system used to store, manage, and report on the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement's Inventory of Abandoned Mine Land Problems. This includes both problems in need of reclamation and those that have been reclaimed.

Abandoned Mine Lands (AMLs) Portal
The purpose of the AMLs Portal is to provide “one voice” messaging from U.S. Federal environmental and land management agencies related to the environmental, health, and safety impacts of AMLs. It serves as an information repository about the different types of AML sites and their associated environmental, health, and safety issues and also highlights federal, state, local, and tribal resources and success in AML reclamation activity.

Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Program Website
The Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Program is OSMRE’s largest program. Since 1977, the AML program has collected over $10.5 billion in fees from present-day coal production and distributed more than $8.0 billion in grants to states and tribes, mandatory distributions to the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) retiree health and pension plans and to OSMRE’s operation of the national program to reclaim land and waters damaged by coal mining. 

Acid Drainage Technology Initiative
This initiative was formed as a partnership of technical experts from industry, state and federal agencies and academia who have joined together to combat the pervasive problem of acid mine drainage. This webpage has information about acid mine drainage, work and published reports by the group. 

Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Program Website
The Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Program is OSMRE’s largest program. Since 1977, the AML program has collected over $10.5 billion in fees from present-day coal production and distributed more than $8.0 billion in grants to states and tribes, mandatory distributions to the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) retiree health and pension plans and to OSMRE’s operation of the national program to reclaim land and waters damaged by coal mining. 

AMDTreat
AMDTreat is a computer application for estimating abatement costs for acid mine drainage. 

Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative Website
The Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative is a coalition of groups, including citizens, the coal industry, and government dedicated to restoring forests on coal mined lands in the Eastern United States. This website offers a variety of resources related to reforesting coal mined lands in Appalachia. 

Applicant Violator System
The Applicant Violator System is an automated information system owned and operated by OSMRE. Information on applicants, permittees, operators, application and permit records, as well as unabated or uncorrected environmental violations of SMCRA are maintained in this nationwide database for OSMRE’s Federal and State programs.

Citizens Request for an Inspection
Under the Surface Mining Law, citizens may request an inspection of a mine if a violation is suspected. If your request provides a reasonable basis to believe that a violation exists, you also have the right to accompany the mine inspector when he completes the inspection. The procedure for requesting an inspection should begin with filing a request with the state agency, or with the Office of Surface Mining in the states of Tennessee and Washington, or on Indian lands.

Forest Reclamation Advisories
Forest Reclamation Advisories are informational documents put together by the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative Science Team to clearly explain the Forestry Reclamation Approach and address questions about reclamation practices that can be used to prepare coal mined lands to forestry related landuses. 

Handbook of Technologies for Avoidance and Remediation of Acid Mine Drainage
This 1998 handbook was developed by the Acid Drainage Technology Initiative. 

Market-Based Mine Land Reclamation: Reforesting Surface Mines
A pdf consisting of fact sheets that demonstrate the environmental, economic, and social benefits of forestry reclamation.

National Mine Map Repository
National Mine Map Repository collects and maintains mine map information and images for the entire country. The oldest maps in the archive is from 1792. 

Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement - Kentucky Webpage
Information, contacts, Abandoned Mine Lands Projects and additional resources specific to surface mining in Kentucky.  

Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement - Tennessee Webpage
Information, contacts, Abandoned Mine Lands Projects and additional resources specific to surface mining in Tennessee. 

Reforestation Research
Research on reforestation of coal mined sites in Tennessee and Kentucky in association with the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative. 

Technology Development and Transfer
One of the ways that the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement balances coal production with environmental protection is by providing resources for technical assistance, training, and technology development. These activities support and enhance the technical skills that states and tribes need to operate their regulatory and reclamation programs. 

Technical Innovation and Professional Services - Current Software List
This website provides links to a variety of softwares that can aid in water related mine reclamation work. Softwares are available relating to acid mine drainage, groundwater, well testing, water storage, and more. 

Technical Innovation and Professional Services - Training Opportunities
TIPS is the Technical Innovation and Professional Services, a national programmatic activity of the U.S. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement that is customized to coal mining and reclamation applications. Online training opportunities include classes such as 'Introduction to GIS for Mining and Reclamation' and more. 

 

KY DIVISION OF MINE RECLAMATION AND ENFORCEMENT
Cumulative Hydrologic Impact Assessment

The Division of Mine Permits is responsible for assessing the impact of an applicant’s proposed operation on the environment. A Cumulative Hydrologic Impact Assessment (CHIA) is conducted for each application. The data is organized by the watershed’s Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC), which is used to identify the unique watershed. The data may include surface water quality, benthic information, groundwater quality, water quality violations, pollutant discharge elimination information, mine history and information regarding pending mines. The files are organized by their HUC 12 watershed and are available for download. 

Downloadable Maps
Mining and reclamation plan maps and permit boundary overlay maps have been scanned and georeferenced and are available for downloading here. 

Kentucky Mine Mapping Information System
A comprehensive and accessible system for the locations of Kentucky underground and surface mines. This site includes interactive mapsGIS data, a mine/map search tool, and more.

Spatial Data
Download spatial databases for permit locations, pending permits, and georeferenced Mine Reclamation Plans maps. 

Surface Mining Information System
The Kentucky Surface Mining Information System (SMIS) is an extensive computer database that is used for tracking all permitting and enforcement actions on coal mining activity in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.  Examples of information contained in SMIS include status of pending and issued permit applications; inspection background and frequency; past or pending violation problems; and other areas of interest. Please refer to the SMIS Tutorial for directions on how to download and setup Web SMIS on your computer. 

Watershed Trend Station Data
The Kentucky Department for Natural Resources has posted water quality data taken from in-stream sampling sites throughout the Kentucky coalfields.  The data represents analyses of water samples taken quarterly from July 2010 through June 2012.  Samples were taken from 53 sites in the eastern coalfield and 11 sites in the western coalfield during the time period. A table on this webpage lists information for each sample site and a link to its data sheet containing the measurements of concentration for tested analytes. 


KY DIVISION OF WATER
Kentucky's Water Health Guide
Kentucky's Water Health Guide is a summary of the current and historic conditions, activities, trends and impacts on the health of the rivers and streams that flow through the Commonwealth. This report describes the natural conditions of the streams and lakes in Kentucky, such as the types of rocks and soils, the land features, the types of vegetation, the quality of the water and how it moves. It also describes the human activities and influences, such as: building and maintenance of homes, businesses, and industries; raising of crops and livestock; treatment of human waste; recreational activities; timber cutting; mining; construction and maintenance of water lines, sewer lines, roads, pipelines, and other types of infrastructure that support human populations.

Potential for Levels of Arsenic and Chromium in Drinking Water
2013 study by the Division of Water. 

NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION RESOURCES

AMERICAN RIVERS
Energy Development and Rivers
A variety of energy development related resources. Topics include: Hydropower: Is It Really "Clean Energy?",Hydropower and Climate ChangeMining's Toxic Legacy on RiversFracking, Oil, and Gas Development, andPipeline Failures and our Water Supplies.
 

APPALACHIAN CITIZENS LAW CENTER
Abandoned Mine Land Program: A Policy Analysis for Central Appalachia and the Nation (2015)
Based in part on previously unreleased funding data and data from a new survey of AML officials, this paper provides an unprecedented analysis of the policy, economic, financial, and environmental repercussions of the AML program over its history. The paper also provides a set of policy recommendations that, according to our research findings, are necessary for the AML program to achieve its core purpose of reclaiming America’s abandoned coal mines. This webpage also includes a link this associated video

Environmental Work
This page covers the environmental related efforts of Appalachian Citizens Law Center. ACLC has been involved in efforts to: force state and federal regulators to evaluate the potential impacts of proposed surface mines on human health; stop companies from mining on land without the full consent of all of the land’s owners; hold companies accountable for falsifying pollution discharge reports; and to hold accountable the state environmental protection agencies that are mandated to regulate industry pollution.

The POWER+ (Plus) Plan
The POWER+ (Plus) Plan is a $10 billion initiative to assist communities struggling with the decline of the coal industry in growing and diversifying their economies. ACLC links visitors to this website. 
 

APPALACHIAN MOUNTAIN ADVOCATES
Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining

Over the last 15 years, AMA have led the legal battle against mountaintop removal mining and have worked hard to prevent the coal industry from externalizing environmental and economic costs onto the public. Our settlements and court victories have led to hundreds of millions of dollars spent on cleaning up dirty streams and protecting public health, and more than $15 million devoted to land trusts.

Clean Water Enforcement
AMA keeps a close eye on water quality monitoring data from mine sites. 

Bankrupt Coal Companies
AMA works on legacy issues from bankrupt coal companies. 
 

APPALACHIAN VOICES
Abandoned Mines Map
An interactive map of abandoned mines across the Appalachian region. 

Appalachian Water Watch
Through the Appalachian Water Watch program, we work to address water quality issues in coal-impacted communities around Central Appalachia by promoting and ensuring compliance with laws that protect clean water. The Appalachian Water Watch Alerts Site was created to help people in Central Appalachia report and track incidents of water pollution.The Appalachian Citizens Enforcement Project is designed to fill the vacuum left by the lack of state enforcement through empowering communities to monitor their own water, creating a broad perspective into the extent of coal-related contamination across the entire region. The Accountability through the Courts has information about water quality laws and lawsuits in the region. 

Coal Ash Ponds of the Southeast 
An interactive map of coal ash ponds across the southeast. 

Education
Appalachian Voices provides a variety of educational resources including MTR 101Coal Ash Educational Materials, and Fracking.

Spatial Data Downloads
iHeartMountains provides a variety of GIS datasets including 2009 Extent of Mining Survey files, 2012 Extent of Mining Survey files, and Reclamation Fail Survey Files.

Human Cost of Coal
Interactive maps with a wide variety of human related costs associated with coal mining. Topics covered include: Life Expectancy Change, Birth Rate Defect, Overall Wellbeing Index, Poverty Rate, Population Changes, Deaths from Chronic Cardiovascular Diseases, Deaths from Lung Cancer, Deaths from Respiratory Diseases, Deaths from All Cancer, and Deaths from All Causes.

iLoveMountains.org
A website with a wealth of information about mountaintop removal coal mining and information and tools related to organizing against it.

Mountaintop Removal Maps
A variety of mountaintop removal maps.

Mountaintop Removal Video Resources
A variety of video resources including links to iLoveMountain youtube channel, an America's Most Endangered Mountains Video Series, an introduction to mountaintop removal video, aerial videos of mountaintop removal, and more. 

Reclamation Fail Study / Map
A study and interactive map highlight the dearth of previously mined sites across Appalachia that have been reclaimed. 
 

KENTUCKY WATERWAYS ALLIANCE
Surface Coal Mining Impacts
Basic information about the impacts of surface coal mining on water quality, as well as a conductivity related petitionfiled by Earth Justice (and partners including KWA) requesting that the EPA to establish a conductivity water quality standard for waterways in the  Appalachian coal mining region. 
 

RIVER NETWORK
Best Practices
River Network provides an explanation of best management practices by the following topics: Managing urban runoffReducing farm and ranch pollutionAddressing industrial and other point sourcesImproving sewage treatmentIncreasing protection for drinking water sourcesTackling energy and mining pollution.

Tackling Energy and Mining Pollution
Best management practices for tacking energy and mining pollution. This page includes links to related resources such as The Connections Between Our Energy and Water by Union of Concerned Scientists, Understanding Hydropower and Reform Opportunities by Hydropower Reform Coalition, 1872 Mining Law Reform by Earthworks, A Primer on Hard Rock Mining by Safe Drinking Water Foundation, and Closing loopholes for fracking by Physicians for Social Responsibility. 
 

SOUTHERN ENVIRONMENTAL LAW CENTER
Mountaintop Removal in Appalachia
SELC advocates for stronger protections for the rivers, streams and communities of Appalachia in areas that are impacted by Mountaintop Removal Mining. This page speaks to SELC's efforts and includes a link to this mountaintop removal fact sheet, which includes information about the threat mountaintop removal has on fish species in the Big South Fork.  

Protecting Our Southern Appalachian National Forests
SELC has a number of key priorities in defending our treasured Southern Appalachian forests, including: challenging destructive logging projects and other damaging activities; restoring ravaged lands; safeguarding roadless areas; and setting a positive vision for the future. This webpage contains more information about this effort. 

Protecting Our Water and Health from Coal Ash
Nearly every major river in the Southeast has one or more lagoons on its banks holding slurries of coal ash from power plants. Containing hundreds of thousands of tons of toxin-laden waste, these pools are often unlined and have leaked arsenic, mercury, thallium, selenium, and other contaminants into the rivers and the underlying groundwater for years, if not decades. In Tennessee, SELC filed a lawsuit against Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) for coal ash at the Gallatin Plant polluting the Cumberland River, which provides drinking water for 1.2 million residents downstream. To help Southerners find out more about risks to their communities, SELC and its partners launched SoutheastCoalAsh.org, a website that provides an interactive map and database of 100 coal ash impoundments.

Protecting Public Lands on Tennessee's Cumberland Plateau
Tennessee's Cumberland Plateau is renowned for its expansive forests, rich aquatic life, and outstanding outdoor recreation. In years past, surface coal mining left a devastating environmental footprint on the plateau--clear cuts, polluted rivers, and unstable slopes. While parts of the region have shown signs of recovery, the threat of future mountaintop removal and similarly destructive forms of surface mining is ongoing. SELC has been engaged for several years in efforts to protect the Cumberland Plateau from the worst impacts of coal mining.

Retiring Outdated Coal Burning Plants
SELC works to steer the Southeast away from its heavy reliance on highly polluting coal, participating in utility planning processes and working with state utility commissions to promote the retirements of outdated coal plants. Since 2010, we have helped secured plans or legally binding commitments to retire 30% of the Southeastern coal plant fleet.
 

STATEWIDE ORGANIZING FOR COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT
Coalitions and Alliances
SOCM is a member of a number of alliances including The Alliance for Appalachia, which works to stop mountaintop removal strip mining; the Citizens Coal Council, which inform, empower and work for and with communities affected by the mining, processing and use of coal;  CLEAN (Citizens Lead for Energy Action Now, now known as American Clean Energy Agenda), which works on renewable energy alternatives, conservation and efficiency; and the Dogwood Alliance, which focuses on forestry issues in the south.

Heads Up on Headwaters
An informative paper on the importance of headwater streams and seeps and the damage wrought by strip mining.

Statewide Issues
SOCM fights against social, economic, and environmental injustices. As a member-driven organization, the issues confronting communities in Tennessee have driven our work. We organize around several important issues in our state, including: Clean Water, Health and Environmental Effects of Extractive Processes (Mining, Fracking, etc), Bringing Green Collar Jobs to Tennessee, Solid Waste / Hazardous Waste, and more.