Kentucky Division of Abandoned Mine Lands Wins Reclamation Award for Third Year in a Row

OSMRE to Honor KDAML at National Conference

Frankfort, KY.  (Aug. 26, 2019) – The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) will honor the Kentucky Department for Natural Resources, Division of Abandoned Mine Lands (KDAML) for its work at the Roger Cornett Slide reclamation project in Perry County, Kentucky.

It is the third, successive year that KDAML has won OSMRE’s Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Appalachian Region Award. Last year KDAML won for reclamation work on the Joan Bernat Slide Reclamation Project in Perry County, Kentucky.

The project began on a rainy Friday night in April 2018, when KDAML received a call from a resident concerned about a sudden landslide near his home, his rental properties, and a neighbor’s house. The landslide brought down tons of mud, trees, and old coal, threatening people’s lives and property. Extremely steep and unstable terrain, limited access, severe weather, and the existence of electrical lines and a water system further complicated the project. However, Kentucky’s quick response abated the threats to the residents and the safety of their property.

Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Charles Snavely praised the KDAML employees for once again being recognized for their expertise and professionalism. “This award reflects the great work that this group of employees routinely does,” Secretary Snavely said.

Kentucky Director of the Division of Abandoned Mine Lands, Bob Scott, said it was an honor to again be cited by OSMRE. “These projects truly take a team effort, under emergency situations many times, to protect our residents and to establish a newly safe, stable environment.”

Kentucky is among five recipients of the 2019 Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Awards recognizing reclamation excellence. Awards are presented for the best reclamation project nationally, as well has the best projects from around the country, and for the project that costs less than $1 million and is in a state that receives less than $6 million in annual AML funds. A panel of judges composed of directors of state and tribal reclamation programs and OSMRE managers voted to determine this year’s awardees.

In FY 2019, Kentucky received $18.2 million in Abandoned Mine Land (AML) funding from OSMRE.

The Abandoned Mine Land 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 U.S. coal mining that occurred before SMCRA.

OSMRE will present the 2019 Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Awards during the annual conference of the National Association of Abandoned Mine Land Programs in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Sept. 9, 2019.