OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND ENFORCEMENT
2012 Excellence in Surface Coal Mining Reclamation Awards
Winners will be announced by News Release September 2012
Award Ceremony held in Las Vegas, Nevada - September 2012
2012 Call for Nominations brochure [423 KB]
History and objectives of the program
The awards program is designed so that state and Federal regulators can transfer outstanding reclamation methods and techniques to the coal mine operators who work under the Surface Mining Law nationwide. The winners are the coal mine operators who developed innovative reclamation techniques or who have completed reclamation that resulted in outstanding on-the-ground performance. Today, active mines are turned into farmland, forests, parks, housing sites, and habitat.
Nominations for an Award
Nominations may be submitted by coal companies, regulatory authorities, state or Federal mine inspectors, interest groups, or landowners. Company officials and employees may nominate their own operations.
National Awards. These annual awards are presented to coal mining companies for achieving exemplary mining and reclamation practices. 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 increased soil productivity on a reclaimed site would be verified with several years of crop yield data.
Director's Award. Each year, one coal mining operation in the country is selected to receive the Director's Award for outstanding achievement in a specific area of reclamation. The Director's Award for 2012 will be presented to a project that demonstrates excellence in stream restoration. The specific criteria for the Director's Award can be found here: http://www.osmre.gov/topic/awards/docs/2012DirectorAwardGuide.pdf.
Good Neighbor Awards. Up to three mine operations could be selected to receive Good Neighbor Awards 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 (both narrative and photos), and include testimonial letters and/or other documentation of a successful good neighbor policy.
Nominations are due to the state regulatory authorities or the Office of Surface Mining field office in non-primacy states by March 30, 2012. Nominations will be screened by the regulatory authority, and the best entries (a maximum of four National Awards, one Director's Award, and two Good Neighbor Awards from each state), then forwarded to the Office of Surface Mining field offices by April 16, 2012. Field offices will evaluate and forward the nominations to the Office of Surface Mining Headquarters in Washington, D.C., by April 30, 2012, for judging in May 2012.
Selection of winners consists of several steps.
A site visit by an OSM field office representative is made to ensure that:
A panel of judges composed of representatives of the Office of Surface Mining evaluates the nominations and selects the winners.
Nominations and questions about the awards should be e-mailed to: