2014 Excellence in Surface Coal Mining Reclamation Awards
Award winners are recognized for developing innovative reclamation techniques or who have completed reclamation that resulted in outstanding on-the-ground performance. The awards program is designed to help state and Federal regulators transfer outstanding reclamation methods and techniques from award-winning operations to other coal mine operators who work under the Surface Mining Law nationwide.
Coal companies, regulatory authorities, state or Federal mine inspectors, interest groups, or landowners may submit nominations. Company officials and employees may nominate their own operations.
A coal mining operation may be nominated for achievement in a specific aspect of reclamation, or for overall performance in meeting goals of the Surface Mining Law. All nominations should include on-the-ground results for however long the results have been in place. For example, a nomination for stream restoration should include several years of water quality monitoring data.
Good Neighbor Awards
Good Neighbor Awards are given to mine operators for successfully working with the surrounding land owners and the community while completing mining and reclamation. Nominations for this category should briefly describe the mining and reclamation operation (using both narrative and photos), and include testimonial letters and/or other documentation of a successful good neighbor policy.
2014 Award Winners
National Award: Red Hills Mine, Mississippi Lignite Mining Company, in Ackerman, Mississippi, for its use of naturally available materials for reconstructed steam bank stabilization. The operator’s reclamation efforts allowed the habitat to quickly recover to pre-mining health.
National Award: Antelope Coal Mine, Cloud Peak Energy, in Gillette, Wyoming, for the company’s successful control of cheatgrass on reclaimed lands through innovative husbandry practices. Antelope Mine has successfully overcome the challenge of establishing and maintaining a sustainable native plant community that will meet or exceed criteria that an operation must meet in order for its reclamation bond to be released.
Good Neighbor Award: Alpha Natural Resources, Elk Run Coal Company, Inc., in Boone County, West Virginia, for its significant contributions each year to communities near Elk Run Coal Company. Alpha Natural Resources has donated to local charitable causes, provided numerous volunteer hours to the community, and provided equipment and resources for other projects.
OSMRE will recognize each company's achievements at the National Mining Association Awards Luncheon on Monday, October 27, 2014, at the Hyatt Regency in Washington, DC.