The Bureau's engineers review mining plans to assure engineering principles are in effect and check for compliance with appropriate statutes. They also conduct ventilation surveys to ensure mine ventilation systems are functioning properly, and provide technical expertise to mine inspection personnel. The Bureau maintains an extensive repository of active and abandoned mine maps in the Commonwealth. There are literally thousands of maps, some of which pre-date 1900. The maps are of critical importance in charting new courses of mining and in making subsidence evaluations as a prerequisite to the construction of buildings, schools, highways, etc.
The Bureau consults almost on a daily basis with mining engineers and mining engineering firms who are in need of knowledge that can only be gained through the inspection of the State's active and abandoned mine maps. These map files are required under the Pennsylvania Bituminous Coal Mine Act 339, Article 2, Section 240, and the Pennsylvania Anthracite Mine Act 346, Article 3, Section 305. Plans presently reviewed include roof control, ventilation, deep cut mining, safety zones, auxiliary fan ventilation, mine opening, mine sealing, electrical, training, mine drainage, diesel-powered equipment applications, and others.