OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND ENFORCEMENT
OVERSIGHT OF SURFACE COAL MINING
The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) is the primary regulator of coal mining under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA) until a state or Indian tribe demonstrates that it has developed a regulatory program that meets all of the requirements in the SMCRA and implementing regulations issued by OSM (30 CFR Chapter VII). When a state or Indian tribe submits and receives approval of its proposed regulatory program from OSM, it becomes the primary regulator within that state or on reservation lands, respectively, and assumes responsibility over permitting, inspection, and enforcement activities. OSM then provides oversight of the stateís or tribeís implementation of the regulatory program.
The fundamental purpose of oversight is to ensure that states and tribes are effectively implementing, administering, maintaining, and enforcing approved state and tribal programs.
OSMís Directive REG-8, Oversight of State Regulatory Programs, defines "oversight," in the context of procedures for conducting oversight, as the "process of evaluating and assisting states [and tribes] in the administration, implementation and maintenance of approved regulatory programs." The Directive states tható
OSMís oversight role will not involve any duplication of the Stateís program implementation responsibilities. Oversight will not be process-driven. Instead, OSM oversight will focus on the on-the-ground/end-result success of the State program in achieving the purposes of the Act. Also, it will focus on identifying the need for and providing financial, technical, and other program assistance to States to strengthen their programs.
In other words, oversight includes inspections and other evaluations of how well state programs are ensuring environmental protection, reclamation success, and prevention of off-site impacts. It also includes providing training to state employees to help them do their jobs better and technical assistance, such as information technology and software, to improve both state capability and efficiency in processing permit applications and evaluating reclamation. [More]
We encourage public participation in the Oversight Process. If you are interested in participating in this process, or in reading more on activities within a specific state/tribe, please select it from the list below. You will then be directed to the specific OSM Regional/Field Office responsible for oversight in that state/tribe.
|Navajo Nation||New Mexico||North Dakota||Ohio|
The following documents provide more information on Oversight.
ODocs is OSMís database that contains the oversight documents generated by the agency in accordance with REG-8. You can utilize the ODocs built-in search to view documents covering the various aspects of OSM's oversight. These documents include, but are not limited to, Annual Reports, Annual Performance Agreements, and Topic-specific reports. See full list of available oversight documents. ODocs will open in a new window when the link is clicked. To begin a search, you must select a State or Tribe and an Evaluation Year. You can access ODocs at http://odocs.osmre.gov/.
Reg-8 identifies 9 types of documents that describe the agency's oversight responsibilities and activities for a given evaluation year (EY). The following is a list of those types of documents and a short description: