Minerals, Oil & Gas Division
The extraction of minerals by mining is a basic and essential activity making an important contribution to the economic well being of the State and the Nation... Those words are found in the legislative intent section of the Maryland surface mine law and reflects the importance of mining to our society. The law also goes on to say that the affects of mining must be regulated to provide for the protection and conservation of the natural resources of the State and the reclamation of lands impacted by mining.
In 1977 the first statewide comprehensive mining law for noncoal mining became effective. The primary focus of the law was to ensure good land reclamation, environmental proctection and public safety. By the end 1977 there were 18 permitted surface mines in Maryland with an extensive list of sites under review. Today, there are approximately 330 surface mines in Maryland with at least one in every county. Materials that are mined include: dimension stone, limestone, various types of hard rock aggregate, clay, fill dirt, topsoil, sand and gravel.
Maryland operators have become very innovative in reclamation, winning five national awards for reclamation since 1989. Reclamation in the more urban areas may be done in preparation for a specific land use such as a golf course or development. The more rural areas still reclaim using open space and agriculture as the dominant land use forms.
The Minerals, Oil & Gas program will continue to stay current on issues such as blasting, waste disposal and mining impacts. The Division will continue to work with the public and the mining industry to provide for public safety, environmental protection, and good land reclamation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Non-Coal Production Data:
Annual production data is submitted to the Department each year from every permitted site.