The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement
The OSMRE is a branch of the United States Department of the Interior. It is the federal agency entrusted with the implementation and enforcement of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 which attached a per-ton fee to all extracted coal in order to fund an interest-accruing trust to be used for reclamation of abandoned mine lands, as well as established a set of environmental standards that mines must follow while operating, and achieve when reclaiming mined land, in order to minimize environmental impact.
OSMRE has three main functions:
- Regulating active mines.
- Reclaiming lands damaged by surface mining and abandoned mines.
- Providing resources for technical assistance, training, and technology development.