Fourteen companies were recognized on Friday for excellence in mine reclamation for 2008. The awards were made at the concluding luncheon of the 36th 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 Coal-Mac, Inc. for its wetlands development in Mingo and Logan counties. The Turkey Habitat Restoration Award went to Pioneer Fuel Corporation’s Simmon’s Fork Surface Mine 1 in  Wyoming County.

The Greenlands Award, the state’s top environmental award, went to Brooks Run Mining Company in Webster County.

"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 environmentali 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.

Environmental Awards

Greenlands Award 2008
Brooks Run Mining Company, LLC.             
Brooks Run Complex

In Webster County, WV for overall outstanding environmental performance in the ongoing mining, reclamation and site maintenance activities at its Brooks Run Mining Complex which includes a surface mine, an underground mine and their associated coal preparation and coal handling facilities.  The Brooks Run complex, originally developed in 1980, was designed and has been continually operated to achieve an outstanding level of environmental protection.  Brooks Run Mining has taken steps above and beyond what is required by state and federal regulations to assure proper environmental protections and community relations are an integral part of the ongoing operation of the mining facility.  

Surface Mine South Award
Colony Bay Coal Company
North Surface Mine
Permit S-15-81

In Boone County, WV, for overall exemplary efforts in the design, operation and reclamation of a surface mining operation.  Originally permitted in 1982, the mine was initially reclaimed to Phase I bond release standards in 2005.  In 2006, the permit was reactivated to allow for highwall mining activities.  Environmental impacts were minimal during both active phases of the operation as demonstrated by the company’s overall inspection and compliance history.  Effective reclamation at the now completed mine site is evidenced by established vegetation and a high rate of replanted tree survival.  

Coal Refuse Facility South Award
Mingo-Logan Coal Company, Inc.
Monclo Preparation Plant
Permit P-729

In Boone County, WV for the overall exemplary reclamation of a coal preparation facility and its related coal transportation infrastructure including truck dumps, railroad loadout structures and a large concrete highway bridge.  Coal has been processed at the Monclo site from the early 1900s until 1999.  Reclamation activities were complicated by the facility’s close proximity to residents, a public highway and extensive pre-law mining disturbance.  Mingo-Logan has exercised excellent environmental awareness by promptly dismantling structures, and commencing reclamation activities to very effectively reclaim a site with long history of coal production activities.

Coal Refuse Facility North Award
Kingwood Mining Company
Kingwood Refuse Facility

In Preston County, WV for the exemplary and innovative concurrent operation and reclamation of a coal refuse disposal site for nearby underground mining operations.  Kingwood Mining has demonstrated commendable environmental awareness in the construction and operation of the Kingwood site as reflected in the consistent compliance of the operation with mining and reclamation regulations.   The company voluntarily implemented alkaline amendment practices on the refuse site to prevent the formation of acid mine drainage.  Additionally, grading and seeding of the operation have occurred almost concurrently with the placement of coal refuse.  

Haul Road South Award
Apogee Coal Company
Guyan Complex Road
Permit O-5020-90

In Logan County, WV, for overall attention to environmental and community protection in the construction of a new coal and overburden haulage road.  Apogee’s haul road reflects a significant investment in the company’s existing infrastructure and demonstrates the company’s overall commitment to community and environmental values.  The haulroad was designed to minimize environmental and community impacts by avoiding significant new disturbance of the adjacent areas, the construction of a new bridge and relocating the existing state highway.  

Coal Refuse Impoundment North Award
Island Creek Coal Company
Beaver Creek Slurry Impoundment
Permit I-700

In Grant County, WV for the elimination and exemplary reclamation of a combined coal refuse and acid mine drainage sludge impoundment.  Island Creek has demonstrated an overall commitment to environmental protection in its efforts to eliminate the Beaver Creek impoundment and preserve water quality values through its reclamation and impoundment capping activities.  

Coal Refuse Impoundment South Award
Coal-Mac, Inc.  
Pine Creek Impoundment
Permit O-13-81

In Logan County, WV for special efforts and attention expended in the reclamation of a coal slurry and coarse coal refuse structure.  Coal-Mac, Inc. demonstrated a special commitment to environmental protection by going above and beyond its reclamation plan requirements regarding the placement of overburden cover material on the refuse site and the elimination of mining contours to effectively blend the site with the surrounding undisturbed acreage.  Additionally, Coal-Mac, Inc.’s attention and commitment to a post-mining landuse of forestry is demonstrated by excellent post-mining tree growth.  

Underground Coal Mine South Award
Long Fork Coal Company
Logan Fork Deep Mine
Permit U-5037-97

In Boone County, WV for the exceptional and expeditious reclamation of the surface areas of an underground mine in Prenter, WV.  Only ten months elapsed between the completion of mining activities and commencement of reclamation.  The company’s commitment to its reclamation obligations and excellent reclamation techniques is demonstrated by excellent vegetative and tree growth.  

Underground Coal Mine North Award
M&J Coal Company, Inc.
Spence Deep Mine
Permit U-1006-97

In Harrison County, WV, for the outstanding reclamation of the surface area of an active underground mine and the concurrent elimination and reclamation of pre-law mining disturbance. M&J Coal’s reclamation efforts at the site successfully restored the mining area to resemble and blend with the surrounding undisturbed area and created an area, at the landowner’s request, for the development of an industrial site.

Special Recognition Award—Innovative Construction and Reclamation Practices
Argus Energy WV, LLC
Rollem Fork Haulroad
Permit O-5007-96

In Wayne County, WV, for the successful deployment of innovative reclamation practices in the construction of a coal mining haulroad.  Argus strived to reduce the overall impact of the construction project by reusing existing and recycled materials in the construction of the new road.  Gas line pipe was reused for road culverts, recycled newspaper was used for mulching the seeded areas and steel slag was used as a road surfacing material.  The delivery of the steel slag was achieved using trucks that had delivered coal in same vicinity, reducing truck traffic and saving a considerable amount of diesel fuel.  

West Virginia Woodlands Award
Given by the West Virginia Chapter of the Society of American Foresters
ICG Eastern Birch River Mine

Ducks Unlimited Wetlands Award
Phoenix Coal Mac

Turkey Habitat Reclamation Award
Pioneer Fuel Corporation
Simmons Fork Surface Mine

In Wyoming County, for excellent wildlife and turkey habitat reclamation practices on the Simmons Fork Surface Mine.  The company took special care to assure good vegetative success by carefully implementing its approved post-mining landuse reclamation plan.  The successful planting mix has already attracted turkey and other wildlife on the former mining site.  

AML Awards

AML North Award
Cowgirl, Inc.
Overfield Refuse & Mining Equipment Site

In Barbour County, WV, for the successful completion of a reclamation project involving the reclamation of 50-foot high, four acre coal refuse site and the removal and reclamation of dangerous abandoned mining equipment.  

AML-South Award
Green Mountain Company
Bearwallow Branch Refuse Piles Project

In McDowell County, WV, for the successful reclamation and elimination of abandoned underground mine entries and the stabilization and reclamation of abandoned coal refuse site.  Additionally, Green Mountain installed unique and innovative ATV barriers to prevent future entry and damage to reclamation site.  These barriers also serve as wildlife habitat and additional sediment control for the project.   

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