Proposed Colorado and Utah Cooperative Agreements Should Be Modified To Reduce State/Federal Duplication in Mine Plan Review

Gao ID: EMD-82-87 May 27, 1982

GAO reviewed the Department of the Interior's environmental analyses of coal mine plans.

The Interior's Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) has been making a commendable effort to streamline regulations governing mine-plan reviews as well as other aspects of coal mining. GAO believes that further potential exists with respect to the proposed Colorado and Utah cooperative agreements. These agreements create a significant potential for duplication, are inconsistent with those which Interior already has with two other states, and do not comply with the OSM proposed amendments to the regulations governing future agreements, both of which require states to provide OSM with a combined technical and environmental analysis of mine plans on federal lands. By requiring states entering cooperative agreements to prepare combined analyses, Interior can: (1) reduce state and federal duplication in mine review; (2) decrease review costs; (3) lessen delays in mine-plan approval; and (4) ensure that states assume more responsibility for regulating mining on federal lands.


Our recommendations from this work are listed below with a Contact for more information. Status will change from "In process" to "Open," "Closed - implemented," or "Closed - not implemented" based on our follow up work.

Director: John W. Sprague Team: General Accounting Office: Energy and Minerals Division Phone: (202) 512-7783

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