Abandoned Mine Lands Viewer
The Abandoned Mine Lands Viewer assists the public in identifying locations that have been the subject of reclamation of coal mining activities. The AML Viewer may be used to locate major coal reclamation projects completed by the department’s Land Reclamation Program between 2000 and 2014.
Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation
Abandoned mine land reclamation took a giant step forward in 1977 when the U.S. Congress enacted Public Law 95-87, the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977, or SMCRA. The act outlined specific requirements for the reclamation of lands mined after May 2, 1977. It also established programs and funding for reclaiming abandoned mine lands. In January 1982, Missouri received approval from the Office of Surface Mining of the U.S. Department of the Interior to operate the abandoned mine land program and to conduct reclamation work in Missouri. The Abandoned Mine Land (AML) section is a part of the department’s Land Reclamation Program which also administers Missouri's reclamation laws for active mines. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is the administrative authority working through the Missouri Mining Commission.
Public Law 95-87 requires that the AML section reclaim the highest priority abandoned coal mine sites before addressing problems created by mining other commodities. Therefore, the AML section focuses primarily on reclaiming problems caused by previous coal mining. The order in which most abandoned mine land is reclaimed is determined by classifying the land into one of three categories:
The Abandoned Mine Land section has made significant progress in eliminating public health, safety and environmental problems from past mining areas. Health and safety problems (Priority I and II) include dangerous mine refuse piles and embankments, burning coal refuse, highwalls, subsidence, open shafts, hazardous mining facilities, and polluted water used for agricultural and human consumption. Environmental problems (Priority III) include bare acidic spoils and coal refuse that pollute water through soil erosion, sedimentation, and acid mine drainage.
Missouri's first reclamation project was completed in November 1982. Most projects have been located on private land. Reclamation costs are solely the responsibility of the Abandoned Mine Land section. Staff produce annual reports. The most recent are available below:
- Land Reclamation Program Biennial Report 2020-2021 - PUB3014
- Land Reclamation Program Biennial Report 2018-2019 - PUB2827
Report the occurrence of coal mine vertical openings to us, along with recent mine subsidence events and other issues that relate to coal mines.