The Indiana coalfield covers an area of about 6,500 square miles in west-central and southwestern Indiana. It constitutes the eastern-most part of the Illinois coal basin. Twenty counties within, or partly within, the Indiana coalfield have significant bituminous coal reserves. Currently, coal is mined in ten counties. Indiana has approximately 34 billion tons of coal reserves, 18 billion tons of which are recoverable using current technology, 16 billion tons are recoverable by underground mining, and 2 billion tons are recoverable by present surface mining techniques.
Historically, coal was usually surface mined at depths of no more than 65 feet. Today, surface mining equipment is capable of removing overburden to mine coal seams approaching 200 feet in depth; however, because a large portion of the surface reserves have already been removed, in the future surface mining activities are expected to decline, accompanied by a resurgence of underground mining in deeper coal beds. In 1990, 5 percent of Indiana’s coal production was from underground mines; in 1997, 12.9 percent; in 2005, 32.5 percent; in 2008, 33 percent; and in 2012, 42 percent of total tonnage came from underground mining. During 2012, coal production in Indiana was 36 million tons.
Regulation and Reclamation
The Division of Reclamation within the Indiana Department of Natural Resources is responsible for administering Indiana's Surface Coal Mine Reclamation Act and thus has responsibility for SMCRA activities related to active coal mining (Title V) in the State of Indiana. State funding for mine regulation is derived from a fee levied on coal production. Coal operators are assessed $0.05/ton for surface and $0.03/ton for underground coal extracted. Since 2006, the Indiana's regulatory program's revenue and expenditures have been essentially flat. Maintaining adequate fees to support the mandated activities of the agency has been a concern in recent years. A distinction between Indiana and most other states is that the Indiana program receives no money from the State general fund.
The Division of Reclamation within the Indiana Department of Natural Resources is also responsible for SMCRA activities related to abandoned coal mines (Title IV) in the State of Indiana.
Indiana grant reports and related documents are contained in the official grant file maintained at the:
501 Belle Street, Suite 215
Alton, IL 62002
Telephone: (618) 463-6460
Fax: (618) 463-6470
They can be reviewed during normal business hours. Alternatively, these documents can be requested through the Alton Field Division and a copy of the grant file will be made available. The copy may be requested in paper or electronic format.
What is Oversight?
OSMRE 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, OSMRE develops a Performance Agreement/Evaluation Plan 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.
Learn more about OSMRE's National Oversight Program.
To view oversight documents visit, OSMRE's REG-8 Oversight Database: