British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Performance bond requirements for coal mining in the United States Hamm, Louis W.


One of the primary goals of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA) is to ensure adequate reclamation of areas disturbed by surface coal mining operations. The U.S. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) and State enforcement agencies apply the requirements of SMCRA by permitting mining only after receipt of a performance bond sufficient to ensure completion of the approved reclamation plan. Performance bond amounts are based upon the costs of performing reclamation by a third-party contractor engaged by the regulatory authority. The amount is also based upon those conditions that define the point in the planned mining operation that presents the greatest estimated reclamation costs for the permitted mining term. The minimum required bond amount is $10,000 and any bond may be periodically adjusted by the regulatory authority to account for changes in the mining plan, postmining land use, or other circumstances that may increase or decrease the cost of reclamation.

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