Land Reclamation

Landowners with concerns about abandoned mine lands on their property are encouraged to contact the Tennessee AML Program by calling 1-865-594-6035.

Buyer Beware

If you are considering purchasing property in the Tennessee coalfield and suspect mining may have occurred on the site, you can contact the TN AML Program for information of known mining activity from our available records.

Introduction / Mission

Abandoned coal mines pose serious threats to public health, safety and welfare as well as degrade the environment.  The programs of Tennessee Land Reclamation Section accomplish three important things: (1) They remove dangerous health and safety hazards that threaten the citizens of Tennessee; (2) they improve the environment; and (3) they restore resources to make them available for economic development, recreation, and other uses.  Problems typically addressed by the Land Reclamation Section include open or improperly filled mine shafts, dilapidated mine buildings and equipment, toxic mine refuse and drainage, landslides, mine fires, highwalls and subsidence.  Tennessee Code Annotated (59-8-301) updated statute authorizes the Commissioner of the Department of Environment and Conservation or its employees to acquire or enter property for the purposes of reclaiming abandoned mines.

Abandoned Mine Land Program

The Land Reclamation Section is responsible for reclaiming those mine sites that have been designated as "abandoned", meaning those sites which have been mined prior to surface mining laws, those sites with no reclamation bond, or those sites where there is no continuing obligation to the mine operator(s).  Both appropriated state dollars and federal grant dollars from the U.S. Department of Interior's Office of Surface Mining ( are used to reclaim the sites. With an annual budget of approximately 11 million dollars, the Land Reclamation Section administers around 10 reclamation contracts each year. Land Reclamation staff identify potential reclamation project sites, design reclamation plans and specifications for those sites, and inspect the reclamation work as it progresses.


Since its inception in 1981, the Tennessee Land Reclamation Section has reclaimed over 5,000 acres of abandoned mine lands at a cost of $ 60 million dollars. Approximately 1,250 acres have been reclaimed using $ 14.7 million of state appropriated monies and matching funds, while 3,800 acres have been reclaimed with $ 35 million in federal grant dollars.

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