A mining permit describes the lands that will be affected by coal mining activities. The SMCRA inspector ensures that the mining and associated operations are within these approved boundaries. (VIP 1&2) Remote sensing imagery is ideal for this requirement. Using high resolution satellite imagery and GIS techniques, the inspector can perform a virtual inspection and without a field visit, determine if mining disturbance is contained within the approved boundaries. The figure below shows the Centralia mine site in 2001, indicating mining disturbance outside of the permitted area. The inspector conducted an on-site investigation and verified that a violation of the approved permit had occurred.
Mining at the Centralia Mine Outside of the Permit Boundary