Awards presented during annual Coal Symposium in Charleston

12 companies were recognized on Friday for excellence in mine reclamation for 2009. The awards were made at the concluding luncheon of the 37th Annual West Virginia Mining Symposium Charleston Civic Center.

The awards are co-sponsored by the West Virginia Coal Association and the West Virginia Division of Environmental Protection. To be eligible, a mining operation must be nominated by their local state inspector. 

The awards include special presentations for conservation. Ducks Unlimited presented the West Virginia Wetlands Award to 

The Greenlands Award, the state’s top environmental award, went to the International Coal Group’s Beckley-Pocahontas facility in Raleigh County. In making the award, West Virginia Coal Association President Bill Raney said, “The construction of the facility involved the remediation and reclamation of a pre-law coal refuse site. ICG has proven its commitment to the environment and clearly shows the steps our industry will take to get the coal out of the ground while protecting our natural beauty.” 
Raney said the miners at Beckley Pocahontas and at other mines 
"Today we recognized the real, true practicing environmentalists of this state and nation,” said WVCA President Bill Raney. “The men and women who mine, manage and support these award-winning operations truly set the standard for environmental achievement and practical stewardship.” 

“It is always a great pleasure to make these awards," said WVCA President Bill Raney, "These companies go far beyond requirements of the law in order to be good stewards of state’s reources. These companies represent the very best efforts of an industry committed to environmental responsibility. I also want to applaud the industry as a whole for the outstanding job of environmental stewardship it showed in 2008.”

For more information, contact Bill Raney. He can be reached at (304) 342-4153.

The companies receiving Environmental Awards are listed on the following pages.  For additional information, contact Bill Raney, Jason Bostic or T.L. Headley at (304) 342-4153.

Greenlands Award 
ICG Beckley, LLC 
Beckley-Pocahontas Facility 
For outstanding attention to environmental protection and performance in the construction and operation of an underground mine and related surface facilities r in Raleigh County, West Virginia that included reactivating a long-idle construction and mining site.  The construction of the facility also involved the remediation and reclamation of a pre-law coal refuse site.  The company also completed several projects related to community improvements and protections such as constructing roads and bridges to minimize truck traffic on public roads, paving the roads that access the site and installing noise-reduction measures on fans and bins.  Additionally, ICG Beckley, LLC established a Community Advisory Panel to maintain communications and relations with local residents and community leaders.  

Surface Mine North Award 
D&L Coal Company 
D&L Surface Mine 
For exemplary reclamation of 15 acre surface mining operation in Mineral County, West Virginia.  During the mining and reclamation of the permit, D&L Coal Company also successfully remediated pre-law acid mine drainage and surface impacts that existed on the site including the addition of alkaline material to underground mine entries.  The reclaimed operation has significantly improved the water quality and pre-mining appearance of the land.  

Surface Mine North Award 
Oxford Mining Company 
Cross Creek Surface Mine 
For the outstanding reclamation, including the elimination and remediation of pre-law mining impacts, of a surface mining operation in Brooke County, West Virginia.  Oxford Mining eliminated pre-existing highwalls, returned the site to approximate original contour and established vegetative cover in accordance with a wildlife post-mining land use in anticipation of the reclaimed area becoming part of the adjacent Cross Creek Wildlife Management Area.  

Surface Facility Construction Award 
Coal-Mac, Inc. 
Duty Branch Belt Line 
For the exceptional attention to environmental and community protection in the construction of new coal haulage beltline and coal slurry line located in Mingo and Logan counties, West Virginia.  Coal-Mac, Inc. minimized the surface disturbance associated with the construction of the facilities and installed state-of-the-art equipment to monitor the conditions and performance of the coal slurry line.   Additionally, Coal-Mac, Inc. installed several safety features that automatically stop slurry flow in the line if a flaw is detected through the use of automatic sensors adjacent to the line.  The construction of the slurry line allowed Coal-Mac, Inc. to utilize an existing refuse site and avoid the disturbance associated with constructing a new facility.  

Underground Mine South Award 
Riverside Energy, Inc. 
Copperhead Mine 
For outstanding operation and reclamation of the surface installations associated with an underground mine in Wyoming County, West Virginia.  Riverside Energy sealed the underground mine entries and quickly backfilled and graded the disturbed area to approximate original contour.  The backfilled area was quickly seeded and excellent vegetation has been established.  Additionally, no violations have ever been received at this site during its operational life and through reclamation. 

Surface Facility Construction Award 
Pinnacle Mining Company, LLC 
Asco Surface Facility 
For the exemplary design, planning and construction of an exhaust fan location for an underground mining operation in Wyoming County, West Virginia.  Pinnacle Mining conducted extensive pre-construction testing and later relocated the installation based on the presence of existing, pre-law underground mining activities below the proposed shaft.  The initial construction site was retained as a placement site for the new shaft construction and drilling operations, eliminating additional disturbance that would be required for a new disposal location. 

Surface Mine South Award 
Pioneer Fuel Corporation 
Ewing Fork No. 2 Surface Mine 
For the outstanding operation and reclamation of portions of a contour surface mine in Fayette County, West Virginia.  Pioneer Fuels has demonstrated excellent environmental protection practices in the construction and initial reclamation of five valley fills and the backfilling and regrading of 165 acres that have been reclaimed and planted with native hardwood tress. 

Coal Refuse Facility North Award 
ICG Eastern , LLC 
Birch River Operation
For the construction and ongoing operation of pioneering coal refuse disposal facilities in Webster County, West Virginia.  Coal refuse disposal at the Birch River Operation is accomplished through the construction of coal refuse cells located on the mine bench with special attention to preventing the formation of acid mine drainage and allowing for timely and effective reclamation of the cells.  Additionally, the Birch River Operation has incorporated the refuse areas into their overall reclamation plan which is designed according to the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative.  

Coal Refuse Facility South Award 
Green Valley Coal Company 
Blue Branch Refuse Area 
For the outstanding reclamation of coal refuse facility in Nicholas County, West Virginia.  Green Valley Coal Company exceeded permit requirements and expectations in the reclamation of a coal refuse fill through regrading and topsoil placement that has promoted good vegetative cover that invites wildlife to the area. 

Coal Refuse Facility South Award 
Kanawha Eagle Coal Company 
New West Hollow Refuse Disposal Area 
For the outstanding and timely reclamation of a large coal refuse impoundment facility in Kanawha County, West Virginia.  Kanawha Eagle performed the complicated and difficult task of eliminating the 50-acre impounding capacity of the facility, converting refuse and slurry disposal to a slurry cell system while operating and maintaining adequate refuse capacity for the large three-mine underground complex.  

Haulroad Construction North Award 
Marion Docks, Inc. 
Beech Lick Haulroad No. 1 
For the exemplary construction and operation of a haulroad associated with two surface mines in Marion County, West Virginia.  Marion Docks used existing rights-of-way on an abandoned railroad grade, along pre-law surface mine benches and existing, unimproved roads to avoid new disturbance.  The existing grades were substaintailly upgraded with sediment control features to effectively control runoff and off-site impacts from the operation. 

Turkey Habitat Award 
Coal-Mac, Inc. 
Holden 22 Surface Mine 
For the outstanding reclamation and remediation of a surface mining operation located in Logan and Mingo counties, West Virginia.  Coal-Mac, Inc. took ownership of the previously-disturbed site and worked deligently with the Department of Environmental Protection to bring the operation into compliance with environmental regulatory standards.  Additionally, Coal-Mac, Inc. reclamation techniques have created excellent wildlife habitat with an emphasis on promoting wild turkey populations.  The site has been the location of the Logan Area Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation annual turkey hunts.  

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