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Mine Reclamation

Coal mine reclamation is the rehabilitation of land after coal mining operations have stopped. It is a requirement of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) of 1977.[1]

As mining operations cease bulldozers and scrapers are used to reshape the disturbed area. Reclamation should allow for the area to be resistant to soil erosion and, based on the soil requirements, fertilized and revegetated. Reclaimed land can be used for agriculture, forestry, wildlife habitation, and recreation. The cost of the rehabilitation of the mined land is factored into the mine’s operating costs.[1]

Studies by Appalachian Voices and the Natural Resources Defense Council have found that, of the 410 reclaimed coal mine sites surveyed, 366 (89.3%) had no form of verifiable post-mining development, excluding forestry and pasture.

Read more about Coal Mine Reclamation at CoalSwarm. This article uses content from the CoalSwarm article “Coal mine reclamation” on the SourceWatch wiki. The material is provided under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License 1.3.

Relevant Links

References

  1. “Coal Mining and the Environment” World Coal Institute, accessed November 2009