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DNR Reclamation received regional award
Start Date: 8/27/2018
Event Description:

An Indiana DNR Division of Reclamation project in southwest Indiana has received the highest regional award the federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) issues annually.


The award is for the Snow Hill project in Vigo County. The project addressed public safety concerns and environmental damage caused by two large coarse-coal refuse piles on each side of North Coal Creek. Acid mine drainage (AMD) and eroding coal refuse from the two refuse piles clogged the channel of the creek and substantially degraded its water quality. In addition, the steep, eroding coal refuse on either side of the creek was unstable and posed a danger to visitors.


“Our Reclamation engineering and design staff did a great job of planning, while the on-site project manager remained flexible and met unexpected challenges with innovative suggestions,” said DNR director Cameron Clark. “It is a great example of teamwork.”


Impermeable liners and subsurface drainage structures were emplaced on the tops of the two refuse piles and covered by 3 feet of fill in order to reduce infiltration of rainwater through the piles and limit the migration of AMD from the piles to the creek. A three-stage aerobic wetland and settling-pond complex was built downstream of the piles to encourage oxidation of dissolved iron and remove suspended iron oxides from the water column. The coal-refuse embankments were regraded and stabilized to eliminate the public safety hazard.

DNR Reclamation’s Abandoned Mine Land (AML) program oversaw the project design, which was completed by ATC Group Services, LLC, of Indianapolis. Project-construction activities were done by general contractor Kerns Excavating, LLC, of Bruceville.


A video describing the project can be viewed at


Indiana is among five winners of the 2018 Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Awards for their reclamation excellence. A panel of judges composed of directors of state and tribal reclamation programs and OSMRE managers determined this year’s awardees.


OSMRE will present its Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Awards during the annual conference of the National Association of Abandoned Mine Land Programs in Williamsburg, Virginia, on Sept. 10, 2018.

From 1982 to present the AML program has restored more than 1,100 AML construction sites with approximately 10,000 acres of pre-law abandoned coal mine related impacts.

The DNR Division of Reclamation administers the surface coal mining laws for the State of Indiana. The Inspection and Enforcement Section permits and inspects active coal mines. The Restoration Section is responsible for eliminating threats to the public and environment remaining from coal mining activity prior to the enactment of current law. All activities are funded through fees collected from active coal mining production. For more information, call the division field office in Jasonville at 812-665-2207; or, toll free if calling inside Indiana at 1-800-772-6463.


To view all DNR news releases, please see

Contact Information:
Name: Marty Benson
Phone: 317-233-3853
State calendar entry type:
Press Release
State calendar entry category:
State calendar classification:
  • Residents
  • Visiting and Playing
  • Agency Name:
  • Natural Resources, Department of

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