The Abandoned Mine Lands Division of the Mining Program, performs reclamation of abandoned (pre-1977 mining law) coal mines, land, and remediation of acid mine drainage from coal mines in Allegany and Garrett Counties, Maryland.
The Abandoned Mines Lands Division (AMLD) was established in accordance with the provisions of the federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA) and the Annotated Code of Maryland Environment Title 15, Subtitle 11:Abandoned Mine Reclamation. The Abandoned Mine Lands Division carries out the reclamation of pre-law areas coal mined prior to 1977, which were not adequately reclaimed. These areas continue to degrade the quality of the environment, prevent the beneficial use of land and water resources, and endanger the health and safety of the public. The Abandoned Mine Lands Division has two sections: Abandoned Mine Lands and Acid Mine Drainage Abatement.
A 1979 inventory of abandoned mine lands reported 9,500 acres of land in Maryland that were impacted by surface and underground coal mining prior to SMCRA. Maryland's federally approved Abandoned Mine Land (AML) program is authorized under SMCRA to receive AML grants to administer and carry out reclamation projects. AML grants are funded by a federal tax on coal production. Projects funded under this program must meet the eligibility requirements of SMCRA.
Vindex Abandoned Mine Lands Reclamation Site, Garrett County, Maryland (Before/After)
The 1979 inventory also reported that over 450 miles of streams were impaired by acid mine drainage and had caused significant environmental damage to the native fish population and drinking water supplies. Projects are carried out to improve the quality of the waters in the coal region of Maryland.
Aarons Run-Owens South Acid Mine Drainage Remediation Site, Garrett County, Maryland (Before/After)