Birmingham Field Office
Alabama has four bituminous coalfields that are part of the Appalachian coal basin: the Plateau field, the Warrior field, the Cahaba field, and the Coosa field. A total of 9,700 square miles of the State is underlain by coal. The Plateau field is the largest coalfield, being greater in size than the other three fields combined, but has attracted little commercial mining. The majority of coal mining today occurs in the Warrior field. Alabama's total coal reserves are estimated at 4.8 billion tons. Of those, a total of 3.1 billion tons are recoverable, 0.73 billion by underground mining and 2.4 billion by surface mining operations.
The majority of Alabama's coal is high rank bituminous although moderate amounts of low and medium rank bituminous coal also exists. The coal is generally of good quality and most beds have relatively low percentages of sulfur and ash. Lignite is also present in the Coastal Plain, but is not currently of economic interest. Underground coal mining is accomplished by the room and pillar and long-wall mining methods. Surface mining typically uses auger, contour, or area mining methods.
Dr. Randall Johnson of the Alabama Surface Mining Commission has responsibility for SMCRA activities related to active coal mining in the State of Alabama.
Brian J. Wittwer of the Alabama Department of Labor, Inspections Division has responsibility for SMCRA activities related to abandoned coal mines in the State of Alabama.
Alabama grant reports and related documents are contained in the official grant file maintained at the:
Mid-Continent Regional Office
501 Belle Street, suite 216
Alton, IL 62002
They can be reviewed during normal business hours. Alternatively, these documents can be requested through the Birmingham Field Office and a copy of the grant file will be made available. The copy may be requested in paper or electronic format.
OUTREACH FOR DEVELOPMENT OF THE OVERSIGHT PERFORMANCE AGREEMENT
We are soliciting comments, recommendations or suggestions for topics from citizens, environmental groups, and industry to include in our 2015 Annual or Bi-Annual Performance Agreement. Performance Agreements between OSM and the State and Tribal programs establish how oversight is conducted during each evaluation year(s). The topics should relate to the implementation of the approved Regulatory and Abandoned Mine Land Programs. Please submit your topics or requests for our consideration from March 1-30, 2014 by email or in writing to the contact at the bottom of the page. Thank you for your participation in this important process.
Oversight DocumentsTo view oversight documents see ODOCS, OSM's REG-8 Oversight Database:
|OSM defines "oversight", as the "process of evaluating and assisting states [and tribes] in the administration, implementation, and maintenance of approved programs. In collaboration with each state/tribe, OSM develops a Performance Agreement/Evaluation Plans tailored to the unique conditions of each state/tribe program. Performance Agreements/Evaluation Plans between OSM and the states establish how oversight is conducted during each evaluation year.|
For more information on OSM's oversight process see Oversight of Surface Coal Mining.
For more information please contact:
Birmingham Field Office Director