Program Support Division
State Oversight – Federal Lands Program
The Program Support Division (PSD) is responsible for federal oversight for the states of Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming; this is accomplished with the Federal lands program. The Federal lands program provides for the regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations taking place pursuant to any Federal law on any Federal lands. The Federal lands program incorporates all of the requirements of Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA) and provides for coordination and, to the extent possible, synchronization of the regulation of coal mining under other Federal laws, including the Mineral Leasing Act, the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, and the National Forest Management Act. In each State, the Federal lands program incorporates the requirements of the approved State program or the Federal program for the State. The Federal Lands Program is codified as Subchapter D, Federal Lands Program, of OSMRE’s regulations and has three Parts: Part 740, General Requirements for Surface Coal Mining and Reclamation Operations on Federal Lands, Part 745, State-Federal Cooperative Agreements, and Part 746, Review and Approval of Mining Plans.
Under OSMRE’s regulations, “FEDERAL LANDS means any land, including mineral interests, owned by the United States, without regard to how the United States acquired ownership of the lands or which agency manages the lands. It does not include Indian lands. However, lands or mineral interests east of the 100th meridian west longitude owned by the United States and entrusted to or managed by the Tennessee Valley Authority are not subject to sections 714 (surface owner protection) and 715 (Federal lessee protection) of [SMCRA].” [30 CFR 700.5]
Cooperative Agreements have been established with each state agency to help measure each state’s success in meeting the goals of SMCRA. The state regulatory agencies include: Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety; Montana Department of Environmental Quality; New Mexico Mining and Minerals Division; North Dakota Public Service Commission; Utah Division of Oil, Gas, and Mining; and Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality. Performance agreements can be found in 30 CFR 900 through 950.
Federal Oversight - Abandoned Mine Lands
PSD’s responsibilities in Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) cover federal oversight for Abandoned Mine Lands Programs for the: New Mexico Abandoned Mine Land Program ran by the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, Navajo Nation Abandoned Mine Land Program and Hopi Tribe Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Program.
PSD provides guidance and/or approval for construction projects, National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) documents, Section 7 consultations, advice on categorical exclusions, and grant applications. PSD also writes yearly evaluation reports for each program addressing successes and areas of improvements.
To maintain up-to-date information for on-going projects OSMRE ensures accuracy and completeness of data uploaded into an electronic data base Abandoned Mine Lands Information System (eAMLIS). This system provides access for viewing necessary documents and interpreting maps, identifying aerial photos to locate field locations, locating field plots using GPS equipment.