The A&E portion of the Surface Mining Unit regulates the active coal mines in the state and was established by the Mined-Land Conservation and Reclamation Act, Kansas Statute Annotated 49-401 et. seq. in 1969. The regulation of the coal mines begin with the submission of a detailed permit application covering mining and blasting operations, reclamation, environmental quality, and the projection of impacts to the environment. Once the permit application has been approved and a performance bond has been posted, the operator can begin mining according to the performance standards in Kansas Administrative Regulations Chapter 47-9-1 et. seq.. The mine will be inspected at least once a month during its entire life, including operation and reclamation. The permit will remain bonded until the operator has met the revegetation and other standards of the regulations.
If the coal operator can no longer fulfill their obligation to the state to complete reclamation on the permit, KDHE initiates bond forfeitures. Since the inception of the A&E program, over 20 permits have been reclaimed following bond forfeiture proceedings.
The Surface Mining Section maintains all records pertaining to coal mining permits. These records include: permit applications, revisions, hearing files, hearing exhibits, bonding and bond release information, monthly and quarterly inspection reports of each mine, monthly and quarterly water reports, soil analysis reports, enforcement information such as Notices of Violations, assessments, complaints at a mine site, and technical files such as design plans and revisions.
These records are available for public viewing at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Surface Mining Section; 4033 Parkview Drive; Frontenac, Kansas 66763. Office hours are 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday. Should you wish to receive copies of any records by mail, contact the Surface Mining Section office at 620-231-8540 and describe the nature of your request. Under the requirements of the Kansas Open Records Act, a written request for copies of the records is necessary before they can be released; a request may be submitted online. It is helpful to the staff to describe your request as specific as possible since many documents are very voluminous.