PA group wins national reclamation honor

THE PENNSYLVANIA Department of Environmental Protection confirmed one of the state’s mine reclamation projects was recently named the best project across the US by the National Association of State Land Reclamationists.

Donna Schmidt

The company, which the DEP nominated for the honor, was P&N Coal of Indiana County for a massive effort that reclaimed nearly five kilometres of dangerous abandoned highwall and 13 hectares of abandoned surface mine.

The western Pennsylvania miner also restored more than 270m of Slab Run, a tributary to Sandy Lick Creek, and abated acid mine drainage flowing into Slab Run by adding large quantities of lime to backfill material.

“The department was pleased to learn that a Pennsylvania company nominated by DEP had won such a prestigious national award,” DEP deputy secretary for active and abandoned mine operations John Stefanko said.

“This important project, done through a no-cost government financed construction contract, has made 13 hectares of highly used State Game Lands 77 in Sandy Township much safer for hunters.”

GFCCs are commonly issued to allow reclamation projects without cost to the state. During the effort, an operator may remove coal that it incidental and necessary for the reclamation.

The association, which handed down the award during its meeting in Arkansas recently, presents awards annually for best coal mine and non-coal mine reclamation projects nationwide.