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Mine Regulation

Several images of coal mining in Indiana

The Division of Reclamation administers Indiana’s Surface Coal Mine Reclamation Act following the grant of primacy to the state by the United States Department of Interior, Office of Surface Mining, in 1982. Coal mining contributes approximately $5-6 billion annually to the Indiana economy. Indiana coal production places it consistently within the top ten coal producing states. The burning of coal accounts for about 90 percent of the electricity produced in Indiana. The effectiveness of the Indiana program in balancing the national need for affordable energy while minimizing the environmental effects of mining is witnessed by relatively low cost of electricity within the state and national recognition for high quality mine reclamation in the state by the Office of Surface Mining and other national organizations.

The Regulatory Program is responsible for permitting and compliance verification, enforcement and financial assurance of comprehensive environmental protection performance standards related to surface and underground coal mining operations. Half of the cost of the $3,416,000.00 needed to operate the regulatory program is provided through Title V federal grants through the Office of Surface Mining on a matching basis. The other half is provided through a $0.055 fee levied on surface coal and $0.30 per ton on underground production.

The Division meets its statutory mandates through an annual work effort that includes:

  • Total permitted acreage in Indiana for 2017 is 174,967.20 acres.
  • Permits, inspects, and monitors compliance on approximately 54,000 acres on coal mines.
  • Approved the return of over 3500 acres of land to the landowner in 2017.
  • A repository for $241,983,615.00 of performance bond ensuring reclamation of mined lands.
  • In 2017 the division conducted 302 complete and 594 partial field inspections.
  • Oversaw the reclamation and Phase II release of over 4,500 acres in 2017.
  • The division approved over 350 revisions to permits in 2017.
Indiana coal mine production for 2017

Federal oversight

The U.S. OSMRE monitors the Division's Regulatory and Restoration programs. This office acts in an oversight capacity to the state's regulatory authority.

OSMRE monitors the program administration to assure adequate permitting, inspection, and enforcement operations. This monitoring is conducted on a continuous basis through sample reviews of state actions on permits, inspections, citizen complaints, etc. OSMRE will also respond to written complaints from individuals after reviewing state actions. At the end of each year, OSMRE issues an annual report for the results of their oversight of the Indiana DOR's performance implementation of the approved program.

Further information on OSMRE activities in may be obtained at the following address and phone number:

Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement
Alton Field Division
501 Belle St., Suite 216
Alton, IL 62002

Phone (618) 463-6460

Indiana law

Indiana rules

Federal law

Federal regulations