Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Awards
OSMRE first recognized outstanding abandoned mine land reclamation and exemplary reclamation techniques in 1992, when it started the annual Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Reclamation Awards Program. The program mirrors one of the objectives of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 to ensure that land mined for coal would be restored to beneficial use as part of the mining process, and that lands abandoned without reclamation prior to the law would be reclaimed.
AML projects funded wholly or in part and completed by approved state or tribal programs are eligible for an award, including coal, non-coal, high-priority, and emergency projects. Abandoned mine reclamation completed by citizen groups or other non-state/nontribal organizations are not eligible for these awards. One project may be submitted by each state or tribal program each year.
OSMRE has traditionally given five awards:
- one national award
- one national award for small projects (restricted to projects receiving less than $1 million in a state or tribe that receives less than $6 million annually in AML funding)
- one award in each of OSMRE’s three regions
Any entry is eligible for the national award. Eligible voters and organizations eligible to submit nominations are listed below.
View previous AML Reclamation Award Winners.
Call for Nominations
State and tribal Abandoned Mine Land Programs must provide nominations directly to OSMRE Headquarters in Washington, D.C., by date to be announced in 2018.
Nominations and questions about the awards should be e-mailed to Chris Holmes (email@example.com).
Required for Nominations:
A. Cover sheet containing (The Application Form):
- Name and location of the nominated reclamation project.
- Name, address, phone numbers, email addresses of those submitting the nomination.
- Project start and completion dates and construction costs.
- Names of organizations responsible for the reclamation, including contractors.
- Date submitted.
B. Narrative description of the work that resulted in exemplary abandoned mine land reclamation
The narrative should fully describe the abandoned mine problem, including background and reclamation techniques used, not to exceed six single-spaced pages. The text should also contain photo captions and references to maps, diagrams, or other graphics.
- Brief summary of the mining and reclamation project.
- Description of the nominated activity or reclamation practice, including specific problems, solutions, and unusual circumstances.
- On-site effectiveness of the work. This should be documented and quantified with data.
- Transferability or value of the accomplishment(s) to other mining and reclamation operations.
- Long-term benefits to the landowner and local or regional community.
C. Graphic and Photos (including maps, diagrams, or graphics)
Photos and graphics should show both the specific activity and the surrounding conditions, and provide a clear understanding of the reclamation accomplishments.
D. Electronic Submission Format
Each nomination package must include a project description in Adobe PDF format and separate .jpgs for all photos. While nominations may include photos in the project description pdf file, a separate jpg for each photo is required, (including a cover photo in .jpg format), using the following guidelines:
- Are 3 Megapixel (MP) in size or larger.
- Show before-and-after sequences (preference is for historic photos from the origins of the mine and/or the reclamation work to show progress).
E. Video Submission
Please send raw, unedited video for your submission.
If you have any questions about your video submission, contact Chris Holmes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please send raw, unedited video for your submission. It should include the following:
- Before/after video of the site, beauty shots, shots of innovations created
- On camera video of the work being performed
- On-camera interviews of people affected
- Video of the products or services that resulted from the restoration/reclamation
- On-camera interviews with people who did the work
- On-camera interviews with people who benefited from the work
- HD Video, 1080p (or higher)
- ambient sound only
- no narration
- no music
- no graphics
- unedited on-camera interviews to explain the project are strongly advised
- no visible time codes
- no date stamps
2017 Judging Standards
- Innovative use of current technology (12 pts.)
- Difficulty of Achieving Reclamation under Existing Conditions (17 pts.)
- Special and unique considerations (8)
- On-site difficulty of the project (9)
- Project start and completion dates and construction costs
- Names of organizations responsible for the reclamation, including contractors
- Date submitted
- On-Site Effectiveness (23 pts.)
- Effective/innovative use of technology (8)
- Landscape conforms to the natural environment (8)
- Elimination of significant health or safety problems (7)
- Funding (12 pts.)
- Effective use of funds (6)
- Leveraging – use of partners for funding or technology (6)
- Benefits to the Community (18 pts.)
- Community support for the project (6)
- Long-term benefits to the community (12)
- Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (18 pts.)
- Exceeds the spirit and intent of SMCRA (10)
- Increased public awareness of SMCRA (4)
- Transferability to other AML projects (4)
Judges (one ballot accepted from each of the following or their official designee):
AML Manager, Virginia Division of Mined Land Reclamation
AML Program Manager, New Mexico Mining and Minerals Division
AML Program Coordinator, Alaska Division of Mining
AML Program Specialist, OSMRE Lexington Field Office
Assistant Director Restoration, Indiana Division of Reclamation
Chief, OSMRE Alton Field Division
Chief, OSMRE Denver Field Division
Chief, OSMRE Federal Reclamation Program Division
Chief, OSMRE Pittsburgh Field Division
Chief, Missouri AML Section Land Reclamation Program
Chief, Montana Abandoned Mine Reclamation Bureau
Chief, West Virginia Office of Abandoned Mine Lands and Reclamation
Chief, Surface Mining and Reclamation Division, Arkansas
Chief, Utah Abandoned Mine Reclamation Program
Director, Alabama Mining and Reclamation Division
Director, Colorado Office of Active and Inactive Mines
Director, Crow Tribe AML Program
Director, Injection and Mining Division, DNR, Louisiana
Director, Kentucky Division of Abandoned Mine Lands
Director, Navajo Nation Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Department
Director, North Dakota AML Division
Director, Oklahoma AML Program
Director, Pennsylvania Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation
Director, Texas Surface Mining and Reclamation Division
Environmental Specialist, OSMRE Pittsburgh Field Division
Environmental Specialist – Senior, Division of Soil Conservation, Iowa
Field Office Director, OSMRE Tulsa Field Office
Field Office Director, OSMRE Wyoming Field Office
Field Office Director, OSMRE Birmingham Field Office
Field Office Director, OSMRE Casper Field Office
Field Office Director, OSMRE Charleston Field Office
Field Office Director, OSMRE Knoxville Field Office
Manager, Hopi Tribe Abandoned Mine Land Program
Manager, Illinois Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Division
Manager, OSMRE Olympia Office
Mining Section Chief, Kansas Surface Mining Section
Natural Resources Administrator, Ohio Division of Mines and Reclamation
Regional Director, OSMRE Appalachian Region
Regional Director, OSMRE Mid-Continent Region
Regional Director, OSMRE Western Region
Supervisor, Maryland Abandoned Mine Lands Section
Director, Tennessee AML Program
Director, Wyoming AML Program
In the event of a tie, the winner will be determined by a team of OSMRE and State officials.
Organizations Eligible to Submit Nominations
Alabama Mining and Reclamation
Alaska Division of Mining
Arkansas Dept. of Pollution Control and Ecology
Colorado Office of Active and Inactive Mines
Crow Tribe AML Program
Hopi Tribe Abandoned Mine Land Program
Illinois Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Division
Indiana Division of Reclamation
Iowa AML Program
Kansas Surface Mining Section
Kentucky Division of Abandoned Mine Lands
Louisiana Injection and Mining Division
Maryland Abandoned Mine Lands Section
Missouri AML Section Land Reclamation Program
Montana Abandoned Mine Reclamation Bureau
Navajo Nation Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Department
New Mexico Mining and Minerals Division
North Dakota AML Division
Ohio Division of Mines and Reclamation
Oklahoma AML Program
Pennsylvania Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation
Tennessee Abandoned Mine Land Program
Texas Surface Mining and Reclamation Division
Utah Abandoned Mine Reclamation Program
Virginia Division of Mine Land Reclamation
West Virginia Office of Abandoned Mine Lands and Reclamation
Wyoming AML Program
Paperwork Reduction Act Statement:
The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501) requires us to inform you that: Federal Agencies may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. This information is being collected to give public recognition to those responsible for the nation’s most outstanding achievement in environmentally-sound surface mining and land reclamation, and to encourage the exchange and transfer of successful reclamation technology. The obligation to respond is voluntary.
Public reporting burden for this collection is estimated to average 83 hours per response, including time for reviewing instructions, gathering and maintaining data, and completing and reviewing the submission. Direct comments regarding the burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection to the Information Collection Clearance Officer, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Room 203 SIB, 1951 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, D.C. 20240.