Coal in Iowa ranges from sub-bituminous to high bituminous with an estimated 2.2-billion-ton reserve, or less than one-half of one percent of the United States’ coal reserves. Coal-bearing areas cover about 18,468 square miles, or 33 percent of the State. Most coal seams in Iowa are less than five feet thick and have relatively high sulfur content. Iowa coal mining activities began in the 1840s. Since then, coal has been mined in 17 counties. Annual production varied throughout Iowa’s mining history, peaking in 1981 at 708,602 tons. Production subsequently declined until it ceased in 1994 with 58,855 tons mined during that year. Thin coal seams and high sulfur content of the coal contributed to the demise of coal mining in the State.
Regulation and Reclamation
The Mines and Minerals Bureau of the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Division of Soil Conservation has responsibility for SMCRA activities related to active coal mining (Title V) and responsibility for SMCRA activities related to abandoned coal mines (Title IV) in the State of Iowa.
Iowa has participated in the OSM Watershed Cooperative Agreement Program since 2005. Ten acid mine drainage projects have been completed or are underway. Partner funding for Watershed Cooperative Agreement projects vary from 30% to 89.5% with an average participation of 70.5 percent.
Abandoned Mine Lands (Title IV) Regulatory (Title V) State Program Links Iowa Department of Agriculture - Mines and Minerals
Iowa 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: