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Division of Mine Permits

The Small Operator Assistance Program (SOAP) is authorized by Congress to provide financial and technical assistance to those small coal operators who mine less than 300,000 tons of coal a year and qualify.

SOAP is authorized by Congress as part of the federal Surface Mining Act (PL95-87) and is funded by dollars from the Abandoned Mine Land fees. These funds are used to help offset some of the mine permitting costs for:

  • Mapping.
  • Surface and groundwater sampling.
  • Water well drilling.
  • Fish and wildlife studies. 
  • Archaeology studies.
  • Geologic and hydrologic studies.

This program has helped pay the permitting costs for over 1,500 mining applications since it started in 1979.

As a small operator producing less than 300,000 tons per year, you may be eligible to reduce your permitting costs and get technical assistance for permitting requirements.  For more information, call the Division of Mine Permits Small Operator Assistance Program at 502-564-2320.

Download the electronic version of the SOAP application form here.

Note: For help with this form view download instructions here.