Energy and Minerals Development Adjacent to Parks

Natural and cultural resources in park units can be affected by nearby energy and mineral activities and oil and gas development. For example, ground and surface waters can be contaminated with heavy metals that leach and acids that drain from mineral mines or with chemicals or hydrocarbons from drilling operations. Erosion of sensitive lands may cause siltation of downstream waters. Energy and mineral development adjacent to units can also introduce exotic plant species, reduce important wildlife habitat, displace wildlife, affect the visitor experience.

The NPS strives to work with adjacent land managers and other permitting entities to help ensure that National Park System resources and values are protected from external energy and mineral exploration and development. Where there is available statutory authority that applies to external energy and mineral operations, e.g., Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, the NPS applies this authority as warranted. Otherwise, the NPS coordinates with appropriate permitting agencies and stakeholders to reduce impacts to park unit resources and values.
wind turbines

Renewable Energy

Development and use of nuclear power, bio-based fuels, wind, solar, hydro-power, and wave/tidal action can effect park resources and values.

coal seam

Coal Mining

Learn how the NPS protects park units from the effects of external coal mining.

gravel pit

Other Energy and Mineral Development

Learn what the NPS does in response to mining, oil and gas, sand and gravel on its boundaries.

geothermal development

Geothermal Development

Learn how the NPS protects thermal features from external geothermal leasing.

Last updated: September 22, 2020


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