Surface Mining & Reclamation

Protecting public health and safety, the environment and Texas' natural resources.

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Surface Mining & Reclamation ANNOUNCEMENTS

Marshall Mine Wins RRC’s Texas Coal Mining Reclamation Award

May 05, 2022

AUSTIN – RRC’s commissioners on Tuesday awarded Caddo Creek Resources’ Marshall Mine with the 2022 Texas Coal Mining Reclamation Award for its work toward returning the area back to its natural state.

Caddo Creek Resources transformed the East Texas mine from full operation to complete reclamation in less than 18 months. To do this, they moved about 4.5 million cubic yards of material, including 2.5 million cubic yards of spoil and 2 million cubic yards of soil suitable for plant growth and replanted the area.

Most of the mine (77%) was converted to fish and wildlife habitat, and the rest of the area includes pasture, industrial space and reclamation ponds that provide water to wildlife and future cattle or livestock and sedimentation control for any surface runoff before vegetation is fully establishment.

A reclaimed area at the Marshall Mine with furrows of planted trees.

“Caddo Creek Resources explemflied responsible ownership and deserved to be commended for what they accomplished,” said RRC Director of Surface Mining and Reclamation Division Brent Elliott. “The mine, while short-lived, served a useful purpose, but now it has been returned to a state as good as or better than before mining started.”

The mine received its permit in March 2012 and ceased mining in March 2021. Lignite from the 2,400-acre mine was converted to activated carbon and used in a wide variety of filtration and purification products manufactured by the mine’s owner, Cabot Norit Americas.

Over the life of the mine, 1.12 million tons of lignite were produced with a yearly average of 207,055 tons.

The mine will continue to be monitored for at least five years to ensure water quality standards are met and vegetation quality and quantity has been demonstrated.

The Texas Coal Mining Reclamation Award is given every year to an exceptional mine operator for outstanding reclamation and community support. View previous years mining and reclamation awards.

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What we do

One of the state's most abundant energy resources is a form of soft coal called lignite. Many lignite deposits lie close to the surface, easily reached with modern mining technology. Texas is the largest consumer of coal in the United States and in 2015 was the seventh largest coal-producing state.In 1975, the Texas Legislature gave the Railroad Commission jurisdiction to regulate surface mining for coal and uranium. Companies mining coal/lignite in Texas must have a Commission permit and post a bond for each site they operate in the state. The goal of the coal mining regulations is that the mined land is returned to a condition that is as good as, or better than, it was before mining. Division field personnel make, at a minimum, monthly visits to mine sites, checking for compliance with coal mining regulations.

No surface mining for uranium is currently conducted but uranium exploration continues to be conducted for in situ uranium mining operations and is administered by the Surface Mining and Reclamation Division. (In situ uranium mining is regulated by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality). Active uranium exploration sites are inspected monthly.

The Surface Mining and Reclamation Division also administers a program to reclaim dangerous or environmentally harmful abandoned mine sites that were mined prior to the implementation of the federal surface mining law in 1975 to ensure the safety of the public and protect the environment by eliminating these hazardous abandoned mines throughout the state.

The Surface Mining & Reclamation Division oversees coal exploration, mining and reclamation activities in Texas. In our regulatory role we ensure operators follow Commission rules and regulations established to protect public health and safety, the environment and natural resources.