Missouri has a rich history of coal mining activity. Coal deposits were first mined in Missouri in the late 1840s, giving the state the distinction of being the first state west of the Mississippi River to produce coal for commercial use. Although most of the early coal mines in the state were underground, surface mining began in the mid 1930s, and has accounted for virtually all the coal produced in Missouri since the 1960s. Approximately 67,000 acres were affected by surface coal mining in 48 Missouri counties before enactment of SMCRA in 1977.
Missouri's coal ranges from lignite to high volatile bituminous. Its coal reserve is estimated to be six billion tons, accounting for between one and two percent of the coal reserves in the United States. The coal-bearing areas cover about 23,000 square miles or 33 percent of the State. Twelve of the 20 identified coal seams have been mined. The relatively high sulfur content of Missouri's reserves is greater than 2.5 pounds per million BTU and averages four percent by weight.
Coal production in Missouri reached its peak in 1984 when nearly seven million tons were mined. A sharp decline to 627,774 tons occurred in 1993, down from the 1992 production level of 2,908,012 tons, after the state’s largest operator ceased production. Annual production has fluctuated during the last decade; however, production remained relatively steady during the period 2003-2005 with an average production of about 569,000 tons per year. Production dropped to 394,099 tons in calendar year 2006 and continued to decline in 2007 when only 236,108 tons were produced. A slight increase in production occurred in calendar year 2008 when 262,025 tons were mined. Coal production has remained consistent in recent years, with 458,447 tons produced in 2010, 467,669 tons produced in 2011, and 421,587 produced in 2012.
Regulation and Reclamation
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Land Reclamation Program, 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 Missouri.
Missouri 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: