Abandoned Mine Land

Virginia’s Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Program was established in the late 1970’s to correct pre-federal Act (1977) coal mine related problems adversely impacting public health, safety, general welfare and the environment. Abandoned mine land related problems include landslides, stream sedimentation, hazardous structures, dangerous highwalls, subsidence, loss of water, acid mine drainage and open mine portals. AML sites eligible for reclamation must have been mined prior to December 15, 1981. There must also be no other individual, firm or organization responsible to reclaim the site.

Virginia Energy's Mined Land Repurposing (MLR) annually applies for a grant from the U.S. Office of Surface Mining (OSM) to reclaim high priority AML sites across the state. Grant funds are used to design reclamation plans, obtain consents for rights of entry, publish public notices in local newspapers to advertise for construction contractors and to ensure the site is reclaimed and the problems abated according to the engineering design. Grant funds come from fees paid by the coal industry on each ton of coal mined.

Widely recognized as one of the best AML programs in the nation, OSM has selected several Virginia AML projects for national awards. Virginia is nationally recognized for its innovative accomplishments in reclaiming abandoned coal mine land.

  • icon of eVA - Electronic Virginia NOTICE!! - ALL DIVISION OF MINED LAND RECLAMATION CONTRACTORS MUST BE REGISTERED IN eVA
  • Locations of Abandoned Mines in the Greater Richmond Area

    Virginia Energy is presenting these maps in response to Chapter 706 of the Virginia Acts of Assembly (2006). The legislation requires that the seller of any new dwelling in Planning District 15 disclose in writing to the purchaser whether they have knowledge of previous mining on the property, or the presence of abandoned mines, shafts, or pits. These maps depict locations of abandoned mines contained in the publications, databases, and archives of DMME. The mines are shown as symbols plotted on U.S. Geological Survey 7.5-minute quadrangle topographic base maps at a scale of 1:24,000, presented as Portable Document Format (.pdf) files. At this scale, one inch is equal to 2,000 feet.

    The larger map below is an index to abandoned mine location maps. Red boxes indicate maps that are currently available. Clicking on a red box will open a link to a .pdf file containing the map associated with that area.

    Richmond Historic Mining Activities Ashland Beach Bon Air Brandon Charles City Chester Chesterfield Claremont Drewrys Bluff Dutch Gap Fine Creek Mills Glen Allen Goochland Hallsboro Hanover Hanover Academy Hewlett Hopewell Hylas Mannboro Manquin Midlothian Montpelier New Kent Perkinsville Powhatan Providence Forge Quinton Richmond Roxbury Ruther Glen Seven Pines South Anna Studley Toano Tunstall Walkers Clayville West Point Westover Winterpock Yellow Tavern

    Ashland Fine Creek Mills Midlothian South Anna
    Beach Glen Allen Montpelier Studley
    Bon Air Goochland New Kent Toano
    Brandon Hallsboro Perkinsville Tunstall
    Charles City Hanover Academy Powhatan Walkers
    Chester Hanover Providence Forge West Point
    Chesterfield Hewlett Quinton Westover
    Claremont Hopewell Richmond Winterpock
    Clayville Hylas Roxbury Yellow Tavern
    Drewrys Bluff Mannboro Ruther Glen  
    Dutch Gap Manquin Seven Pines  
    Abandoned Mine Land Project Location Maps
  • Arno Gob Pile Removal - Project No. 18304
  • Bearpen Branch Gob Pile - Project No. 18304
  • Betty B Hollow Gob Pile - Project No. 19302
  • Big Ridge Road Gob Pile - Project No. 18306
  • Blake Farm Road Drainage Project - Project No. 19518
  • Bowser Hollow Emergency - Project No. 17510
  • Box Camp Portals - Project No. 17506
  • Brighthope Intake Shaft - Project No. 17506
  • Brush Mountain Portals - Project No. 19505
  • Camp Creek Landslide - Project No. 18513
  • Camp Creek Drilling - Project No. 19605
  • Clinchco Ballfield Gob Pile - Project No. 18307
  • Clinchco Reclamation II - Project No. 18507
  • Clover Leaf Gob Pile Removal - Project No. 18303
  • Collins Hollow Drainage - Project No. 18517
  • Crooked Branch Portals - Project No. 18510
  • Davis Landslide - Project No. 18506
  • Dismal Road Emergency - Project No. 18525
  • Drain Pipe Portals - Project No. 18523
  • Dry Fork Drainage Emergency - Project No. 18524
  • Dwina Phase II - Project No. 16524
  • Eagle Avenue Drainage - Project No. 19509
  • Golden Pond Gob Removal - Project No. 18302
  • Hanson Shaft Closure - Project No. 19514
  • Highland Avenue Subsidence II Emergency - Project No. 18526
  • Hunt's Fork Drainage - Project No. 17508
  • Hunt's Fork Highwall Removal - Project No. 19201
  • Hurricane Fork Dam Removal - Project No. 18511
  • Ison Portal Project - Project No. 19508
  • Jewell Valley Gob Pile - Project No. 18305
  • Kershaw Branch - Project No. 18521
  • Lewis Landslide - Project No. 18502
  • Lower Birchfield Drainage - Project No. 15518
  • Lower Mill Creek Emergency- Project No. 18516
  • Lynn Camp Portal Drilling - Project No. 17503
  • Lynn Camp Watershed - Project No. 18514
  • Lynn Camp Watershed Phase II - Project No. 18527
  • Mann Subsidence II Emergency - Project No.17511
  • Mike Owens Drainage - Project No. 17504
  • Multay Lane Drainage - Project No. 18518
  • Page Gob Pile Removal - Project No. 20301
  • Pinewood Forest Project - Project No. 19507
  • Prince George Drainage - Project No. 19506
  • Robinette Circle - Project No. 18519
  • Ruby Cline Project - Project No. 19504
  • Seng Camp Fork Gob Pile - Project No. 19301
  • Shupe Branch Drainage - Project No. 19501
  • Snowball Hollow Drainage - Project No. 17505
  • Splashdam Portals - Project No. 18512
  • Straight Hollow Drainage - Project No. 18522
  • Straight Hollow Emergency - Project No. 18515
  • Western Hill Project - Project No. 19513
  • Wilson Carter Shaft - Project No. 18504
  • Woodrow Hollow Landslide - Project No. 20502
  • Yellow Creek Portals II - Project No. 14517
  • Remining in Virginia

    Over 71,000 acres of land in Virginia have been affected by coal mining. It is estimated that it would take approximately 55 years at the present rate of funding and reclamation construction to reclaim the remaining Priority 1 and Priority 2 Abandoned Mine Land (AML) sites. In addition, it would cost more than $313 million to reclaim the identified Priority 3 sites. One way to accelerate reclamation of AML is through remining.

    Virginia Energy's Mined Land Repurposing (MLR), The Nature Conservancy, and the U.S. Office of Surface Mining combined resources to develop proposals for incentives that will promote economically viable, environmentally beneficial remining operations that reclaim AML sites. Initial meetings led to the development of a Remining Ad Hoc Work Group that includes representatives from industry, other governmental agencies, special interest groups, and citizens of Southwest Virginia. Our Ad Hoc Group has identified existing incentives and continues to propose new ones.

    Existing Remining Incentives:

  • Virginia's Pollution Abatement Regulations – These regulations were the result of a 1987 amendment to the Federal Clean Water Act. Alternate effluent discharge limits are allowed in areas with preexisting effluent problems. Operators document effluent conditions prior to remining. Upon completion of the remining operation, the operator would need to demonstrate that the effluent from this site is "as-good-as" the premining effluent.
  • Guidelines for Forestry Husbandry Practices – New forestry husbandry based upon independent research have been approved. These practices are specifically geared for the forestry post mining land use and should help create highly-productive forest in a timely manner so that the mine operator, landowners, and communities can benefit.
  • Remining Permit Enhancement – MLR has implemented procedures to facilitate remining permit preparation and review.
  • MLR Remining Review Team – This is a team that works with the company up-front during preparation of a permit application. The team consists of an engineer, geologist, pollution control specialist, agronomist, client assistance officer, area inspector, and coordinator. Input and guidance are provided on an as needed basis.
  • Mapping and Surveying Support – MLR will provide remining permit applicants with state-of-the-art assistance through digital mapping services and the use of GPS (Global Positioning System) capabilities to locate abandoned mine land features, acid mine drainage seeps, boreholes, and other features.

  • Proposed Remining Incentives:

  • AML No-Cost Agreement – This is a mechanism that can be used to achieve reclamation of abandoned mine lands located outside normal permit boundaries. This agreement would be between the Department and an eligible person for the purpose of reclaiming un-reclaimed abandoned mine lands and which does not involve the expenditure of Commonwealth funds. The reclamation only areas would not have to be permitted. A minimum performance bond would be required. The person would not have to consider these areas in the draining calculations for their mining permit.
  • AML Enhancement Rule – This would entail the use of AML funds to contract with an operator to reclaim, through remining, an area of remnant coal that ordinarily could not be mined. There is a possibility that these projects would not require a coal surface mining permit. This rule would remove the required 50% government funding before any coal could be removed from the project and sold. The removal and sale of any coal from the site could then be used to help finance the project.
  • Experimental Practice Program – To allow spoil from an active Title V permit to be placed on an adjacent AML area (abandoned unstable highwalls, eroding outslopes, acid/toxic material, barren benches, depressions, etc.)
  • Contact Us
    office building picture

    Mined Land Repurposing
    Lesa C. Baker, AML Project Coordinator

    Virginia Energy
    Mined Land Repurposing
    3405 Mountain Empire Road
    Big Stone Gap, VA 24219

    Phone: (276) 523-8100
    E-mail: CoalMineSafetyInfo@energy.virginia.gov  (Coal Mine Safety)  
                 RepurposingInfo@energy.virginia.gov   (Mined Land Repurposing)