Coal Mining Companies Recognized for Their Land Reclamation Efforts

Published October 1, 1997

The Office of Surface Mining (OSM) recently announced the winners of the Excellence in Surface Mining Reclamation Awards.

In addition, Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt announced the National Abandoned Mine and Land Reclamation Awards. This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the signing of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act.

“I want to extend my congratulations to the coal mining companies recognized by OSM this year for their for their continuing reclamation work,” said Richard Lawson, president of the National Mining Association. “This program is based an one of the mining industry’s basic principals– coal mining is a temporary land use. The land is returned to a condition matching or improving its original use. Unless there is a sign or other form of identification nearby, it’s virtually impossible to tell that a reclaimed site was once an active coal mine.”

The OSM awards are presented to companies, organizations and citizens that have demonstrated exemplary performance in restoration of the land after the coal is mined, and protecting the environment for future generations to enjoy.

The Excellence in Surface Coal Mining Reclamation Awards and the Reclamation Hall of Fame Awards were formally presented at an awards breakfast at NMA’s Mining Convention ’97, held on September 30 in Orlando, Florida.

Award Winners

OSM Director’s Award

Coteau Properties, Freedom Mine, Beulah, North Dakota

Excellence in Surface Coal Mining Reclamation Award

Buffalo Coal Company, Buffalo Mine, Davis, West Virginia Bellaire Corporation, Indian Head Mine, Beulah, North Dakota Triton Coal Company, Buckskin Mine, Gillette, Wyoming Peabody Coal Company, Gibraltar Mine, Central City, Kentucky Drummond Company, Kellerman Mine, Brookwood, Alabama Cumberland River Coal Company, Ridgeline Mine, Decoy, Kentucky

Reclamation Hall of Fame

The following operations have won a national award in previous years. The one-time Hall of Fame award recognizes the most outstanding past winners whose reclamation has withstood the test of time.

Coal-Mac, Inc., and the Rifle Coal Company, Debord, Kentucky Solar Sources, Inc., Lynnville Mine, Lynnville, Indiana R&F Coal Company, Cheslock-Hendershot Mine, St. Clairsville, Ohio W.H. Bowlin Coal Company, Whitley County, Kentucky Bellaire Corporation, Indian Head Mine, Beulah, North Dakota Kerr-McGee Corporation, Jacobs Ranch Mine, Wright, Wyoming Western Energy Company’s Colstrip Mine, Colstrip, Montana

Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Award

These award winners represent each of OSM’s three regions. One of them was also selected national winner.

National Winner: Eastern Region–Pennsylvania Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation’s Upper Leigh Project, Foster Township, Pennsylvania Western Region–Utah Abandoned Mine Reclamation Program’s Silver Reef Project Mid-Continent Region–Texas Surface Mining and Reclamation Division’s ALCOA Project

The OSM awards program was started in 1986 and has been held every year since, except 1996, due to lack of available funds. Winners of this year’s competition were selected by a panel of judges from OSM, state reclamation agencies, and the Interstate Mining Compact Commission.

Reprinted from Mining Week, August 4, 1997.