The division provides for the safe and environmentally sound development and restoration of coal and industrial minerals extraction sites.
Diverse and comprehensive programs address the environmental and safety aspects of the coal and mineral mining, while maintaining high standards of regulatory effectiveness.
The division also restores abandoned mine land, enforces mining safety laws, and ensures protection of freshwater resources.
Expertise is provided by a professional staff of geologists, environmental specialists, engineers, blasting specialists, soils scientists, hydrologists, archaeologists, and hydrogeologists.
Funding for programs comes from severance taxes on coal and industrial minerals; federal grants; general revenue funds; fees; fines; bonds and reimbursements.
The Permitting, Hydrology and Bonding section reviews all permit applications to mine industrial minerals and coal; it verifies all bonding and surety requirements; and manages permit records, databases, and permit related information.
The Field Inspection and Enforcement program enforces the laws regulating active mining activities to ensure the protection of citizens and conservation of environmental resources; and oversees land reclamation requirements to assure operators restore mine lands and waters to productive uses.
The Abandoned Mine Land program eliminates health and safety hazards and cleans up lands and waters damaged by coal mining that occurred prior to today’s stricter reclamation laws; including reclamation of underground mine openings, dangerous highwalls, dangerous mine subsidence, and clean up of hazardous and/or polluted water impoundments, acid mine drainage, burning coal refuse, and others.
The Mine Safety program promotes safe mining practices for the protection of miners through services that include inspections at surface and underground mines, focused on accident prevention; examination and certification testing; mine rescue support; and safety training.
- Strive to strike a balance between environmental conservation, protection of the public health and safety, and Ohio’s need for reliable, affordable energy and mineral resources.
- Regulate coal and industrial mineral mining in every Ohio county.
- Protect and conserve lands and waters by preventing negative mining impacts and requiring restoration as needed through enforcement.
- Assist citizens and communities with restoration of lands and waters severely degraded by pre-law mining activities.
- Respond to and investigate abandoned mine land emergencies and develop and implement construction plans to eliminate dangers. Support efforts to extinguish threats to the public or environment caused by mine emergencies.
- Protect miners and prevent mining accidents through inspection, mine rescue support, safety training, and knowledge and skills testing.
- Educate and inform Ohio’s citizens about the division’s role in responsible development of mineral and energy resources, conservation of the environment and protection of the public interest.
DMRM functions are supported by the Council on Unreclaimed Strip Mine Lands, Mine Subsidence Insurance Board, and an informal advisory board on mine safety training.
- In 2010, the Oil and Gas Program became a stand-alone division within the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
- In 2000, the Division of Mineral Resources Management was created with the consolidation of the ODNR’s Division of Mines and Reclamation and the Division of Oil and Gas.
- In 1995, the Division of Mines (created in the 1800s with the beginning of coal mining) merged with the Division of Reclamation (established in 1949) forming the Division of Mines and Reclamation.
- In 1965, the Division of Oil and Gas was established within ODNR, transferring most of the existing regulatory authority over Ohio’s oil and gas industry from the Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Mines.