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US Dept. of the Interior
Office of Surface Mining
Washington, DC 20240

DATE POSTED 08-16-11

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The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) technical training program consists of Technical Training Classes, Software Training, Benchmarking Workshops, and On-The-Job Training to facilitate the regulation of coal mining and reclamation.  The National Technical Training Program (NTTP)  provides training related to permit approval, bond release, reclamation, and enforcement within the technical disciplines of engineering, hydrology, blasting, agronomy, and botany; and may advance technical solutions developed during benchmarking workshops.  The Technical Innovation and Professional Services (TIPS)  program works in concert with the NTTP to enhance the skills of our technical partners by providing them advanced engineering and scientific software and hardware training during the regulation of ongoing coal-mining operations and during the reclamation of lands that have been degraded by past coal mining.  Benchmarking Workshops provide the opportunity for technical specialists and decision makers to collaborate and work towards the implementation of technical regulatory solutions with the goal of adopting or adapting processes to more effectively deliver products and services (e.g. permitting) to federal, state, tribal, industry, and academic partners. On-The-Job training is also available during field application of software and hardware tools available through the TIPS program.

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  National Technical Training Program

OSM established the National Technical Training Program (NTTP)  in 1985, recognizing the need for an ongoing educational program to increase the technical competence and professionalism of Federal, State, and Tribal personnel.  The program delivers training related to permit approval, bond release, reclamation, and enforcement.  The training received serves to update technical expertise and fosters consistent application of standards.  Training is provided in each of the disciplines involved in implementation of SMCRA, which include engineering, hydrology, blasting, agronomy, and botany. The program also ensures training is available to enable OSM and State staff to maintain the ability to gather and present information as an expert with the most recent data available.  In addition, periodic training is needed to disseminate the latest technological and the other changes in regulatory and associated reclamation activities.  All aspects of the program from identification of needs through course development and presentation are cooperative efforts of State, Tribal, and OSM offices.   Approximately 60 courses are offered annually at locations nationwide.

Technical Innovation and Professional Services

  Technical Innovation and Professional Services

TIPS is the Technical Innovation and Professional Services (TIPS)  component of OSM. TIPS provides specialized hardware, scientific software, customized software training, and technical assistance to its user community. TIPS helps strengthen the capabilities of States, Tribes, and OSM staff to enforce SMCRA through quality technical expertise and assistance, scientific information, and training. TIPS supports and enhances the technical skills that States, Tribes, and OSM offices need to operate their regulatory and reclamation programs to effectively implement the Surface Mining Act.

TIPS provides direct technical assistance to address specific mining and reclamation problems, maintaining automated systems and databases used by others in making decisions under SMCRA, and transferring technical capability to others through training, consultations, forums, and conferences to help them develop the skills needed for solving problems on their own. The success of TIPS helps OSM fulfill its mission to ensure that coal mines are operated in a manner that protects citizens and the environment during mining, assure that the land is restored to beneficial use following mining, and mitigate the effects of past mining by aggressively pursuing reclamation of abandoned coal mine lands.