The federal Office of Surface Mining has given North Dakota good marks for its coal mine reclamation program.
OSM says North Dakota has an “efficient and effective” program. The program is administered by the North Dakota Public Service Commission.
"The reality is, what it really demonstrates is a good relationship -- not only between our regulators at the state and federal level, but also the mining companies," said Commissioner Kevin Cramer, who holds the reclamation portfolio. Cramer credits the reclamation staff -- which he says has been recognized by OSM as being "effective and efficient." He says the North Dakota Commission has the smallest reclamation staff in the country.
The state is also recognized for its efforts to reclaim abandoned mine lands.
"The work the AML division does is so important to the continued safety of so many of our citizens and livestock," said Cramer. "That means efficent use of reclaimed pastures and croplands as well as highways and homes."