Bonds are required by state and federal law to address reclamation when the permittee defaults. Under various principles of law, a bonding company may propose to perform the obligations of the permittee. However, the negotiations with the regulatory agencies, surface and mineral owners and other interested parties can create a complicated scenario that requires an understanding of the law regarding environmental protection, bankruptcy and suretyship, along with technical expertise in land reclamation. This paper presents the engineering professional with a framework regarding areas of law that pertain to surety reclamation projects and negotiations with state and federal agencies and related parties. Though presented in the context of the coal industry, the principles discussed are generally applicable to the mining industry as a whole.