Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation (AMLR) Program

To protect the public, health, safety and general welfare, and restore land, water and environmental resources affected by coal and noncoal mining practices that occurred prior to August 3, 1977.

Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

State and Indian Tribal AML programs reclaim landslides, and mine openings, impoundments, highwalls, underground mine fires and burning refuse banks, mine subsidence, coal refuse piles, acid mine drainage, and dangerous impoundments.

Agency - Department of the Interior

The Department of the Interior protects and provides access to the Nation's natural and cultural heritage, including responsibilities to Indian tribes and island communities. Departmental goals include resource protection and usage, overseeing recreational opportunities, serving communities and excellence in management.

Office - See Catalog Appendix IV for addresses.
Website Address


Program Accomplishments

Twenty-four States and three Indian tribes have approved reclamation programs. Since 1978, over 236,000 acres of mined land with safety, health and environmental problems have been reclaimed.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Grants support the operation of an approved State or Tribal Abandoned Mine Land (AML) reclamation program.

Approved programs use grant funds for mine site reclamation projects on eligible lands, which are lands and waters mined or affected by coal mining processes that occurred prior to August 3, 1977 (as well as certain post-1977 and noncoal mining activities).

Grants also support project administration.

Grants may also include funding for AML-related activities including: the Emergency program, to abate sudden mining-related dangers to public health and safety; the Appalachian Clean Streams program, to treat water affected by acid mine drainage; Set-Aside funds, to establish special accounts to fund future acid mine drainage treatment or coal mining reclamation; and the Subsidence Insurance program, to develop a self-sustaining State subsidence insurance program.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

The program is restricted to States with (1) an approved coal mining regulatory program, (2) lands eligible for reclamation, and (3) active coal mining operations within their borders that are paying coal reclamation fees into the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund; and to federally-recognized Indian Tribes with (1) eligible lands, and (2) active mining operations paying fees into the Fund.

An eligible State or Tribe may submit a State reclamation plan to the Office of Surface Mining for approval.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Coal field citizens and the general public benefit from reduced exposure to safety and health risks from abandoned mine lands.


A State or Tribal Indian reclamation plan must be approved by the Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management. AML grants to approved projects must be approved by an authorized official of the appropriate OSM Regional or Field Office.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication is not required.

This program is eligible for coverage under E.O.

12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Application Procedures

The standard application SF 424 and forms furnished by the Federal agency and required by 43 CFR Part 12, Subpart C, "Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local Governments," may be used for this program. Please contact the appropriate Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) Regional/Field Office for details. Grant applications covering all AML programs/activities are to be submitted to the applicable OSM Regional/Field Office annually.

Award Procedures

The Regional/Field Office should act upon a grant application within 60 days of submittal of a complete application. If the application is not approved, the Regional/Field Office must set forth in writing the reasons for disapproval and may propose modifications if appropriate. The applicant may submit the revised application or appropriate revised portions of the application.


State/Indian Reclamation Program: Grant application may be submitted at any time to the applicable OSM Regional/Field Office. Applications should be submitted 60 days prior to the start of the proposed grant performance period.


Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977, Public Law 95-87, 91 Stat. 445-532.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Normally 60 days.


An applicant may appeal the OSM's decision not to approve a grant or to reduce or terminate a grant to the Director, OSM no later than 30 days after the Regional or Field Office official made the decision.


New grants may be awarded annually upon satisfactory performance by the State/Tribal AML Program.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Grants are 100 percent Federally funded. Grant funds are no-year funds congressionally appropriated from coal mining reclamation fees in the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund. The formula is based on historical coal production and annual fee collections. However, States/Tribes may be granted additional funds for emergency and other high priority abandoned mine land reclamation projects.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Grant periods are variable; however, under normal conditions, funds for construction activities must be expended three years after the award.

Post Assistance Requirements


State/Indian Reclamation Program (Project Grants): Annual performance and financial reports (SF 269) are required.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.


Records will be maintained in accordance with the provisions of 43 CFR Part 12, Subpart C, "Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local Governments."

Financial Information

Account Identification



FY 07 $145,352,582; FY 08 est $285,400,000; and FY 09 est not reported.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

$200,000 to $87,200,000; $9,800,000.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Final Guidelines for Reclamation Programs and Projects, Federal Register (66 FR 31250-31258), June 11, 2001.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Catalog Appendix IV for addresses.

Headquarters Office

Office of Surface Mining, Division of Reclamation Support, Department of the Interior, 1951 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20240. Contact: Chief, Division of Reclamation Support. Telephone: (202) 208-2788. Use the same number for FTS.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Section 403 of Public Law 95-87, cited Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Program regulation, and approved State/Indian Reclamation plans.

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