Mined Land Repurposing

Mined Land Repurposing (MLR) is responsible for ensuring the reclamation of land affected by surface and underground coal mining activity. Major functions include regulating surface effects of coal mining, reclaiming abandoned mine lands, issuing permits, performing inspections, assisting small operators, and responding to citizen concerns. Through permitting, mine inspections, operator assistance, and training activities, the MLR promotes an environmentally sound mining industry throughout Virginia's coalfield counties of Buchanan, Wise, Dickenson, Tazewell, Russell, Lee, and Scott.

For more information about Mined Land Repurposing, call (276) 523-8100 or e-mail

History 

MLR was created in 1966 under the name of the Division of Mined Land Reclamation, with the enactment by the Virginia General Assembly of reclamation laws and regulations governing the coal mine industry. Numerous amendments to the state coal surface mine law through 1974, broadened the authority and duties of the Division.

In 1977, Congress enacted the Federal Surface Control and Reclamation Act (Public Law 95-87). The federal coal surface mining law established extensive new requirements that impacted the industry, coal mining states, and their regulatory agencies nationwide.  Using a provision of the Act, which enables coal mining states to establish their own regulatory programs, Virginia passed its own law in 1979, which provided for the adoption of regulations comparable with Public Law 95-87.

Following the approval of Virginia's permanent regulatory program by the Federal Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation Enforcement (OSMRE) in 1981, the state regained primary authority for the enforcement of coal surface mining and reclamation requirements. In states with approved regulatory programs, the OSMRE's role changes from inspection and enforcement to one of oversight and coordination with state programs to ensure they meet the intent of the Federal Act.

Technical Services

The Technical Services Unit's primary responsibilities are:

  • the technical review of applications and issuance of Coal Surface Mining Operation permits (CSMO);
  • the investigation of water loss, subsidence, and blasting complaints, which may be related to mining activity;
  • the review and/or design of plans for Abandoned Mine Land and bond forfeiture reclamation projects; and
  • numerous other special investigations and projects.
Reclamation Services

The Reclamation Services Unit assures coal mine operator compliance with the Virginia Coal Surface Mining Control Reclamation Act, Chapter 19, Title 45.1 of the Code and the Virginia Coal Surface Mining Reclamation Regulations (VCSMRR) to protect the environment and public health and safety from potential adverse effects of mining activities. This is accomplished by reviewing all Coal Surface Mining Operation permits and revisions to assure that requirements are met through proper planning based on the field conditions of the mine site; providing regular inspections and complaint investigations on permitted coal surface mining sites; and providing compliance assistance to mine operators, engineers and consultants.

The Reclamation Services Unit maintains accurate automated permit data on each coal surface mining site. Reclamation inspectors conduct over 7000 inspections and 400 complaint investigations annually. The Unit is supported from the Division of Mined Land Repurposing’s Big Stone Gap Office and provides inspections and investigations in Virginia’s seven coal-producing counties of Lee, Wise, Dickenson, Buchanan, Tazewell, Russell and Scott.

Contact Us
office building picture

Mined Land Repurposing
Marshall Randy Moore, Director of Coal Programs

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)