Selecting Projects for Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation

KEEPING OKLAHOMA SAFE

The purpose of reclaiming abandoned mine land is to preserve public health and safety and projects are selected on the basis of the potential danger they pose. The Oklahoma Conservation Commission routinely conducts an evaluation of the existing abandoned mine land (AML) sites in the state and the risks they present, creating an inventory to reference for selecting future projects.

SELECTING AML PROJECTS

Conservation Districts, the AML staff, and the public provide input to identify AML sites. If a new site is identified by the public, the conservation districts or the AML staff, it is added to the program inventory. To submit a site, please contact the OCC-AML Program by calling 405-521-2384 and ask to speak to someone in the AML Program.

Projects are selected from the inventory on the basis of:

  • Public health and safety concerns
  • Conservation district recommendations
  • Reclamation criteria

The AML staff visits each site and ranks the potential project using the Project Selection Matrix. Once a project is ranked it is added to the ongoing project selection list based on the Matrix score.  This list is then used to select projects as funding becomes available.

RECLAMATION PROCESS

Reclaiming the abandoned mine land starts with a representative of the Conservation Commission or the local conservation district meeting with the landowners. The Commission then obtains a written right-of-entry to enter the property and conduct exploratory investigations and data collections.  Based on the site information collected, a conceptual design is created and discussed with the landowner.  Once the landowner and the Commission agree on the conceptual design, the preliminary design process begins.

Once the design is completed and funding is available, the project will be contracted for the performance of reclamation.  Contracting for the project is managed by the state, in adherence to state contracting regulations.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS


For land to be eligible for reclamation, the following conditions must be met:

The land was mined for or affected by mining or processing. 
The land must have been mined before August 3, 1977, if it was mined for coal.
The land was left either unreclaimed or inadequately reclaimed by the mining operator or a prior landowner of record at the time mining occurred.
There is no continuing responsibility for reclamation under state or federal laws. 
The land is in a condition that endangers the health or safety of the public.

LANDOWNER FAQ’S