Kentucky Division of Abandoned Mine Lands Wins National Reclamation Award

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 31, 2018) – The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) has honored the Kentucky Department for Natural Resources, Division of Abandoned Mine Lands (KDAML) for its Joan Bernat Slide High Priority (HP) AML Reclamation Project.

It is the second, successive year that KDAML has won OSMRE’s Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Appalachian Region Award. Last year KDAML won the award for reclamation work on the Bell Central School HP AML Reclamation Project.

“I congratulate each of the KDAML employees, who through their expertise and professionalism routinely exceed expectations in projects such as this,” Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Charles Snavely said. “This award is well deserved.”

The Joan Bernat Slide HP AML Project was completed at the historic coal camp town of Hardburly, near Hazard, Kentucky. In May 2016, local residents reported to KDAML that a slide had occurred on a hillside above multiple residences and feared that further movement of the slide would threaten their homes.

Hazard KDAML Emergency Branch personnel expedited a design for a project aimed at re-routing and controlling the drainage above the slide, controlling silt, and improving drainage structures near the homes. The time between the initial complaint to the completion of the project spanned 16 months and brought peace of mind to the residents of Hardburly.

“The Division is very pleased to be honored by OSMRE for this reclamation project,” said Bob Scott, KDAML  Director. “The credit goes to a very talented AML design/inspection team as well as a very capable and hardworking Appalachian contractor.”

In FY 2018, Kentucky received $19 million in AML funding from OSMRE.

The AML Reclamation Awards, established in 1992, recognize exemplary state and tribal reclamation projects that reclaim coal mine sites that were abandoned prior to the signing of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA). Eligible projects are funded wholly or in part by OSMRE’s AML Reclamation Fund. OSMRE’s AML Reclamation Program addresses the hazards and environmental degradation posed by two centuries of US coal mining that occurred before SMCRA.

The award will be presented on Sept. 11, 2018 at the 41st National Association of Abandoned Mine Land conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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