U.S. Department of the Interior

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Mid-Continent Region
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Mississippi's estimated five billion tons coal reserves consist entirely of lignite. Economically significant lignite in Mississippi is found in the Eocene, Wilcox, and Claiborne groups which arc across the State from just east of Memphis, Tennessee, into Alabama. Typically, those beds that can be economically mined range from two to nine feet thick. Mississippi lignite resources equal about 13 percent of the total U.S. lignite reserves of 40 billion tons. Lignite is primarily used to generate electricity. Exploratory drilling of the lignite fields began in the mid-1970s. Two mining permits have been issued by the state. The first permit was issued in August 1998, and the second in December 2011.

  • Regulation and Reclamation

    • The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality has responsibility for SMCRA activities related to surface coal mining and responsibility for SMCRA activities related to abandoned coal mines in the state of Mississippi.

  • State Contacts

  • Grants

    • Mississippi grant reports and related documents are contained in the official grant file maintained at the:

      Mid-Continent Region
      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 Birmingham Field Office and a copy of the grant file will be made available. The copy may be requested in paper or electronic format.

  • Oversight

    • 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.

      Oversight Documents

      To view oversight documents visit, OSMRE's REG-8 Oversight Database:

Page Last Modified/Reviewed: 5/20/14

Mid-Continent Region OSM, 501 Belle St., Suite 216, Alton, IL 62002
(618) 463-6460 | FAX: (618) 463-6470 | Email:

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