Department of the Interior
|Office of the Secretary||
CONTACT: Joan Moody
|September 27, 2004||
Secretary Norton, Interior Agencies Recognize Reclamation, Environmental and Community Leaders in Mining Industry
(LAS VEGAS) - At the U.S. National Mining Association's MINExpo in Las Vegas, Nev., today, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton announced Department of the Interior agency awards for reclamation, environmental stewardship and community outreach.
"Once synonymous with manual labor and harsh conditions, the mining industry has been transformed into a high-tech business that uses sophisticated machinery and cutting-edge technology. Coal and mineral extraction and processing are more efficient and environmentally friendly than ever," Secretary Norton told the 400 conference participants.
Office of Surface Mining Director Jeff Jarrett and Bureau of Land Management Director Kathleen Clarke joined in presenting the OSM and BLM awards.
The OSM awards recognize performance under the Surface Mining Reclamation and Control Act, which sets the standards for coal mining reclamation. "The 2004 winners have gone well beyond simple compliance with the law; they illustrate outstanding initiative,dedication and stewardship," Jarrett said.
The Excellence in Surface
Coal Mining and Reclamation Awards program
The BLM awards include the
Hardrock Mineral Environmental Award and the
The award winners announced today include:
BLM Hardrock Mineral Environmental
Ken and David Jeter, operators of the Connor Creek Mine in Baker County, Ore. These brothers were recognized for outstanding achievement in environmental leadership by adopting a proactive approach to their mining operation. Overall, the Jeters' work has improved the local area by reducing sediment runoff into Connor Creek, re-establishing native vegetation and improving visitor safety.
OSM Director's Award
Ruffner Mine in Logan County,
W.Va. received this year's Director's Award for active mining reclamation
that includes eliminating abandoned mine land problems. Reclamation
at Ruffner eliminated 9.4 miles of dangerous abandoned highwalls.
OSM National Awards:
Black Beauty Coal Co. | Farmersburg Mine | Vigo and Sullivan counties, Ind. - Reclaimed land is now producing above-average crop yields. More than double the amount of soil required by regulations was spread on the reclaimed land, much of which has been leased to local farmers. Reclamation has been so successful that it is difficult to identify where mining occurred.
San Juan Coal Co. | San
Juan Mine | Waterflow, N. M. --
TXU Mining Co. | Tatum Mine | Beckville, Texas -- Overburden removal at the Tatum lignite coal mine provided a unique opportunity for the development of water features in the reclamation. A pond-in-series design resulted in five wetland areas. Native grasses and forbs were planted and more than 40 acres of hardwood species are now established. This wetland resource provides the East Texas community with wildlife, fish, sediment retention, groundwater recharge and diverse aesthetics for years to come.
Patriot Mining Co. | Guston
Run Mine | Pursglove, W. Va. -- Mining in a coal seam known for
acid mine drainage problems, the Patriot Mining Company incorporated
coal ash from a local power plant to solve the problems.
Consolidation Coal Co.
| Illinois Surface Mining Operations - Consol\ Sesser, Il.--
Shafer Brothers Construction
Inc. | Payne Mine | Pursglove, W. Va. --
Jacobs Ranch Coal Co.
| Jacobs Ranch Mine | Wright, Wyo. --
Coal Loaders Inc. | Sportsmen's Association of Greensburg and Hoffer Site | Unity Township, Pa.--In 2004, a special award is being presented for outstanding reclamation using Government Financial Reclamation Contracts administered by the Pennsylvania State Regulatory Authority. A 1940s surface mine left abandoned highwalls, sinkholes, acid mine discharges and piles of coal refuse. The remaining coal was not enough to justify permitting, so the project was completed as an abandoned mine project funded by the mine operator. Through two contracts, Coal Loaders was able to mine the remaining coal, fully reclaim the site, and significantly improve the property.
OSM Good Neighbor Awards
were created by OSM Director Jeff Jarrett to recognize coal operators
for working cooperatively with their communities.
"When I instituted the Good Neighbor Awards, I wanted to recognize not only excellence in implementing the Surface Mining law; but also excellence in being part of a community, being a good neighbor" Jarrett said.
Bronze Good Neighbor
Award: The Coteau Properties Co. | Freedom Mine | Beulah, N.D.. --
Working with county, state, and federal agencies, as well as community
leaders and other groups, Coteau designed and developed the Harmony
Lake Wildlife Management Area. The 45-acre lake and 637-acre wildlife
area were donated to the state of North Dakota, and represent a great
Silver Good Neighbor
Award: Coal-Mac Inc. | Phoenix Surface Mines | Ragland, W. Va. --
At Coal-Mac, both the company and the employees are part of the local
community. The company has initiated education programs and works with
Gold Good Neighbor Award:
Trapper Mining Inc. | Trapper Mine | Craig, Colo.
OSM "Best of the
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