Four Logan County Mines earn awards
by David Gutman
CHARLESTON – Four Logan County mining operations – Alex Energy, Mingo-Logan Coal Company, Apogee Coal Company and Eastern Arrow – were honored recently for environmental stewardship during the West Virginia Coal Association’s 40th Annual West Virginia Mining Symposium, held Mar. 6-8 in Charleston.
“We would like to congratulate Alex Energy, Mingo-Logan Coal Company, Apogee Coal Company, Eastern Arrow and the other companies who were recognized for their hard work and responsible reclamation,” said Bill Raney, president of the West Virginia Coal Association. “Each of these companies goes far beyond what is required to restore former mine lands. We always say coal miners are the real environmentalists. They don’t just talk about doing something…they go out and do it. They do it because this is their home. We are proud to represent these companies and the 63,000 coal mining families who live and work here in West Virginia.”
Alex Energy, Inc.’s Whitman Surface Mine in Logan County claimed the Surface Mine Reclamation South Award for environmental stewardship. In making the award, Jason Bostic, vice president of the West Virginia Coal Association, said, “Alex Energy showed exemplary performance in reclamation on a surface mine. From preparation of the soils to the permanent vegetative cover with an extraordinary diversity in tree species including 60 percent native hardwoods and a two acre apple orchard on top of a valley fill. The 22 different species of trees have consistently had significant growth and a survival rate of 85-90 percent.”
Apogee Coal Co.’s Guyan Surface Mine in Logan County claimed the Drainage and Sediment Control Award for environmental stewardship. Bostic stated, “Apogee Coal Company showed exemplary construction techniques protecting the environment with drainage structures. Over nine miles of sediment structures are designed individually for the drainage area they are required to handle and builds in additional safety factors to protect the environment and provides structures to promote wildlife growth.”
Mingo Logan Coal Company’s Mountain Laurel Complex in Boone and Logan Counties claimed the Coal Refuse and Impoundment Award. Bostic offered, “Mingo Logan showed exemplary techniques and innovative design of a specific treatment system in order to eliminate total suspended solids in the impoundment. Water from the impoundment is pumped into two large holding ponds where an automated treatment process utilizes turbidity probes and pumps to control the amount of chemical necessary to provide environmental compliance.”
Eastern Arrow’s Sugar Branch Burning Refuse project in Logan County claimed the Abandoned Mine Lands South Award for environmental stewardship. In making the award, Bostic, said, “The company showed exemplary performance in reclaiming a burning coal refuse facility in Logan County by excavating, blending and capping the refuse while combating extreme ambient temperatures, humidity and burning materials”.
Also announced at the WV Mining Symposium, Consol’s Turkey Gap Refuse Impoundment in Mercer County claimed the state’s top award for environmental stewardship, the Greenlands Award, while Coal-Mac’s New Ridge East Surface Mine in Mingo County took home the Turkey Habitat Award for its work in restoring former surface mine land for wildlife habitat. Several other companies were also recognized for their commitment to the environment at the Symposium, one of the nation’s top coal industry events.
“These winners and the other companies and projects that are being recognized show the importance our industry places on being environmentally responsible,” Bostic said. “Our companies are at the cutting edge of the science of environmental reclamation, recognized the world over for their work.”
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