Established in 1824, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) currently provides services to approximately 1.9 million American Indians and Alaska Natives. The BIA is responsible for the administration and management of 55 million surface acres and 57 million acres of subsurface minerals estates held in trust by the United States for American Indian, Indian tribes, and Alaska Natives.
The AML Portal is a partnership that spans federal, state and local efforts to reduce the environmental and health risks of abandoned land mines through increased awareness, education and action. Visit our partners' websites to learn what they're doing to reclaim these lands.
The BLM works in partnerships with EPA, state agencies, tribes, private parties, and other groups to accelerate the rate of cleanup of watersheds affected by abandoned hard rock mines.
The DOE Office of Legacy Management works in partnership with BLM, Forest Service and EPA to help address issues posed by over 4,000 abandoned uranium mines that provided ore to the Atomic Energy Commission (predecessor agency to DOE) for defense-related activities of the United States between 1947 and 1970.
The Department of the Interior protects and manages the Nation's natural resources and cultural heritage; provides scientific and other information about those resources; and honors its trust responsibilities or special commitments to American Indians, Alaska Natives, and affiliated island communities. The Department is also one of the largest manager's of public lands. Many of the public lands in the West have been impacted by historic mining and mining activities. The Department works with the impacted bureaus under the Department and other agencies to address the safety and environmental risks associated with these sites.
The EPA AML Program is coordinated through the Agency’s National Mining Team (NMT) and Abandoned Mine Lands Team (AMLT). These teams provide an EPA headquarters and Regional core of expertise on issues at abandoned mine sites.
The mission of the Forest Service Minerals & Geology Management (MGM) Program is to provide for the sustainable use and enjoyment of mineral and geologic resources on the National Forests. An important part of that mission is the restoration of land disturbed by historic mining activities.
The mission of the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is to administer the provisions of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act), as amended by the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006 (MINER Act), and to enforce compliance with mandatory safety and health standards as a means to eliminate fatal accidents; to reduce the frequency and severity of nonfatal accidents; to minimize health hazards; and to promote improved safety and health conditions in the Nation’s mines.
The NPS Abandoned Mineral Lands Program works with federal, state, and non-government partners to achieve five primary goals: 1) site inventory, characterization, prioritization; 2) elimination of public safety hazards; 3) rehabilitation of natural resources affected; 4) preservation and interpretation of culturally significant sites; 5) maintenance of critical wildlife habitat.
The Office of Surface Mining (OSM) was created to reclaim abandoned coal mines and regulate active coal mines by the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA). Title IV of SMCRA provides for the restoration of lands mined and abandoned or left inadequately restored before August 3, 1977 with priority given to projects that alleviate dangers to public health and safety. A fee assessed on annual coal production funds the costs of reclamation projects. The majority of the over $9 billion OSM has collected since 1977 has been distributed to states and Tribes with approved abandoned mine land programs to accomplish the land reclamation and environmental restoration.
The RAMS Program utilizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers environmental authorities to provide technical, planning, and design assistance to Federal and non-Federal interests in carrying out projects to address water quality problems caused by drainage and related activities from abandoned and inactive non-coal mines.
State and local economies rely on USDA-managed lands for the many benefits and services they provide, including drinking and irrigation water, fishing, camping, boating, swimming, hiking, and subsistence hunting and gathering. Response and Restoration is involved in funding priority projects for ecosystem and watershed restoration efforts on USDA-managed lands that have been adversely affected by hazardous materials. The Response and Restoration (R&R) Team provides guidance, assistance, and oversight of compliance with hazardous materials requirements by USDA programs and facilities. The R&R team also manages the Hazardous Materials Management Appropriation (HMMA) to provide funding for high priority cleanup actions.
The USGS is providing a wide range of scientific expertise to help land managers minimize and, where possible, eliminate the adverse environmental effects of AML’s. USGS ecologists, geologists, water quality experts, hydrologists, geochemists, and mapping and digital data collection experts are collaborating to provide the scientific knowledge needed for an effective cleanup of AML’s.