OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND ENFORCEMENT
OSM Observes 35th Anniversary
On August 2, 2012, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) observed its 35th anniversary, a commemoration of the day President Jimmy Carter signed into law the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA) on August 3, 1977.
As part of the ceremony at the South Interior Building in downtown Washington, D.C., attendees heard from the Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, Deputy Secretary David Hayes, and OSM Director Joe Pizarchik.
In his keynote address, Director Pizarchik called for a renewal of the “spirit of cooperation and commitment to protect our economy, our energy supply, our environment and ultimately, the people who work and live in coal country.”
OSM also recognized, for the first time, an individual for advocacy of the appropriate balance between meeting the Nation’s need for energy without compromising protection of people, the environment, and the surrounding community.
Director Pizarchik gave the inaugural ECHO Award to David Clark, a state regulatory official and ecologist from New Mexico, for his continued work to enhance environmental protection and coal mine reclamation. Clark has served in SMCRA-related positions in Montana and New Mexico for more than 20 years and has led the development of geomorphic mine reclamation. This technique provides a cost-effective and environmentally sound method that returns previously mined land to resemble its closest form and function before mining occurred.
The ECHO Award name is an acronym of the principles underlying OSM’s mission; Environment, Community, Humanity, and Ownership.
OSM chose the inaugural honoree after receiving nominations from OSM staff. Nominations and the final choice were based on the individual’s demonstration of one or more of the following attributes:
OSM also recognized the service of eleven of its employees who have served the Federal government for 35 years, most of those years with OSM.
Today’s event at OSM headquarters is part of a bureau-wide effort to observe the bureau’s 35th anniversary. OSM Regional and Field Offices are holding their own events the week of July 30 and week of August 6.
Four OSM Directors (L-R): Walter Heine, OSM's first Director 35 years ago (1978-1981), Bob Gentile (1988-1989), Jeff Jarrett (2002-2006), and current OSM Director Joe Pizarchik.