National Award Winning OSM Sites From Indiana

Active Nominations

The State of Indiana has a rich legacy of both surface and underground coal mining, extending as far back as the late 1830’s. In the early days, coal was mainly excavated from exposed (outcropped) coal seams along river banks and hillsides. As coal mining technology progressed, surface mining became the favored method of mining shallow coal seams. Unfortunately, the combination of crude technology and machinery, coupled with an absence of restoration requirements created problems. Some areas in Southwestern Indiana with shallow reserves of high quality coal were heavily impacted by historic coal mining activities. Examples include a decimated landscape with areas completely devoid of plant and animal life, dangerous sections of highwall, mine spoil seeping acidic water (pH < 3), and areas impacted heavily by metals contamination. An example of a region impacted by historic coal mining is Knox County, Indiana, located in the southwest portion of the state, along the Indiana – Illinois border."

The primary intent of the 2009 Enoco reclamation project was to address a lingering issue regarding high volumes of Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) discharging from the site. In order to treat AMD originating from the site, the Indiana Division of Reclamation (IDoR) employed a “Sulfate Reducing Bioreactor” (SRB). A SRB system is a passive treatment system designed to convert AMD-producing sulfates to sulfides, which will then precipitate out of the solution and deposit in a settlement basin. The significance of SRB technology is that IDoR now has an inexpensive, highly effective, and ecologically beneficial method of treating AMD. The area required for an SRB is considerably less than that required for other passive treatment systems such as wetlands, vertical flow ponds, or anoxic limestone drains (ALD). Excavation efforts are limited to those needed to establish a suitable depth and grade for the system to function properly. The primary source of material used within the bioreactor is often unwanted cellulose based composted material (yard waste) collected from local municipalities.

To read more about this project and learn about the innovative applications of Sulfate Reducing Bioreactors, wetlands and other restoration techniques, click 2010 Abandoned Mine Land Award Nomination to read the entire nomination narrative.

U. S. Department of Interior | Office of Surface Mining National Awards


Mid-Continent Regional Award
Coles Creek
Abandoned Mine Reclamation Project


Director's Award - Exemplary Wetlands Restoration
United Minerals Co. and Black Beauty Coal Co. Deer Ridge Mine

National Award Winner
Squaw Creek Coal Company Squaw Creek Mine

Good Neighbor Silver Award
Vigo Coal Company Cypress Creek Mine Wetlands/flood control area

Mid-Continent Regional Award
Victory Abandoned Mine Reclamation Project (Home of the NCAA Cross-Country Nationals)


25th Anniversary Gold Award
Solar Sources, Inc. Sky-Point Mine (recognized as the best coal mine reclamation in the USA for the last 25 years)

Mid-Continent Regional Award & Peoples Choice
Midwestern Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Project

National Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Award Winner
Sunshine Mine Reclamation Project


Exemplary mining and reclamation
Black Beauty Coal Co. / Vigo Coal Co. Columbia Mine

Finalist Midwestern Legislative Conference of the Council of State Governments
AML Reclamation Unit Price Contracting


Hall of Fame Award
Solar Sources Inc. Pit #12 Mine


Engineering Excellence Grand Project Award
Tecumseh Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Project


Finalist National Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Award
Friar Tuck Northwest Gob Pile Project


Finalist National Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Award
Friar Tuck Tailings Pond

Finalist National Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Award
Coe, Indiana , Coal Processing Project


Exemplary Soil Replacement and Farmland Restoration
Solar Sources Inc. Sky Point Mine

Exceptional Mining and Reclamation by a Small Operator
Fowler Excavating A&P Pit / U.S. 50 Mine


Exemplary Reclamation
Vigo Coal Company Discovery #1