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Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Report

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Updated: May 24th, 2022

2020 has been quite an important year in the performance and development of the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE). Focusing on the promotion of reasonable and sustainable use of mining lands and the related areas, OSMRE has prioritized collaboration, yet the recent changes in relationships within businesses and organizations due to health-related issues have redefined the environment in which OSMRE has been working. Namely, due to the development of the pandemic, the organization has faced the necessity to transfer its activities to the digital setting, thus altering the patterns of its performance and communication between its members.

In addition, the outreach efforts that OSMRE has made recently are indicative of the global trend toward sustainability and collaboration, which is going to represent quite a challenge in the nearest future. According to the recent accounts made by OSMRE, the regulatory issues, specifically, the creation of the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Program, have allowed reinforced the importance of complying with the set standards for resource management and the prevention of pollution according to the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (OSMRE, 2020). The described regulatory efforts are expected to lead to improvements in the management of environmental concerns, the enhancement of agricultural productivity, and the sustenance of the state energy production efforts.

The outlined changes are believed to help to minimize the negative effects of mining and related activities in the future. Presently, noticeable improvements can be observed, including the off-site impacts. Specifically, the report issued by OSMRE mentions that no off-site impact has been observed at 93% of the state construction sites, which demonstrates an impressive improvement compared to the previous records. Furthermore, opportunities for isolating the instances of operator negligence and correcting them accordingly to prevent side effects of mining from affecting the environment deserve a mention among the key milestones in accomplishing the goals set previously by the OSMRE.

In addition, oversight inspections have indicated that there were issues with the slurry impoundments and refuse compaction. As a result, OSMRE isolated the existing problems within the framework for managing the tasks associated with mining and the management of waste. The described outcome has allowed meeting the established standards for mining, safety, and environmental concerns to a greater degree. Furthermore, opportunities for handling the current c concerns such as acid mine drainage have been outlined, which has provided the premise for the improvement of the existing strategy for mining.

Overall, the recent developments in the mining protocol and the management of workplace issues, particularly, the concerns related to safety and environmental sustainability, have been explored sufficiently. The lack of oversight, which led to failure the last year, has been identified, with appropriate solutions being offered to manage the specified concern. Therefore, the general coverage of the safety issues and the concerns regarding the management of mining. Moreover, the focus has been shifted toward the prevention of misconduct ad failure to comply with the introduced standards for effective and sustainable mining.

Furthermore, the Regulatory Program Problems have shown staffing problems in the regulatory department, which suggests that further actions to be taken should prioritize meeting employees’ needs and enforcing the significance of a people-oriented approach when promoting critical ethical standards and quality principles.

Finally, the increase in the range of grants and the state funding options should be noted as major changes. Coupled with the increase in permit fees, the specified change is expected to produce a greater range of financial resources for the organization. Thus, better implementation of the current quality- and management-related tasks can be expected.

Reference

OSMRE. (2020). Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA). Web.

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