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Supporting Best Practices for Coalmine Methane Recovery


  • Coal mine methane is a greenhouse gas released during and after mining.
  • Abt works with EPA’s CMOP to help stakeholders reduce CMM emissions.
  • Abt is supporting this 25-year-old program to enhance its communication and engagement with today’s coal mining industry.
The Challenge

Coal mine methane (CMM) is a potent greenhouse gas (GHG) released from coal during and after coal mining that contributes to climate change if emitted within the atmosphere. In addition, CMM can be an explosive hazard inside mines, and contributes to air and water pollution. The U.S Environmental Protection Agency wants mining stakeholders to help reduce CMM.

The Approach

The Coalbed Methane Outreach Program (CMOP) is EPA’s voluntary program that promotes the profitable recovery, utilization, or migration of coal mine methane. Abt Global has supported CMOP in creating numerous domestic and international resources to guide stakeholders in reducing CMM emissions. Key resources include an interactive map of mines where developers could put CMM recovery projects and a cash flow model to evaluate the potential benefits and economic viability of recovery using CMM at specific sites. Abt has also helped CMOP prepare for international conferences and host webinars on ventilation air methane and abandoned mine methane. These resources provide information to project developers, financers, and state and local partners on how to reduce or utilize their CMM emissions.

The Results

In 2019, thanks in part to CMOP, coal mine methane emissions were reduced by more than 7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2e). Since the program began in 1994, cumulative reductions are approximately 200 MMTCO2e. See the CMOP website for more information.