ST. LOUIS, Jan. 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Arch Coal, Inc. today announced that it set new records in safety and environmental performance in 2015, surpassing the company's previous best-in-class performance. Arch's total incident rate was 0.99 incidents per 200,000 hours worked – a 10 percent improvement over 2014 – ranking Arch first among its diversified industry peers. Arch also achieved its best year on record for Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) compliance, posting a 50 percent improvement versus 2014, and once again leading major U.S. coal industry peers.
"The Arch team has once again raised the bar to a new level of superior operating performance," said John W. Eaves, Arch's chairman and chief executive officer. "These impressive accomplishments and remarkable track record reflect the collective effort of the entire Arch Coal workforce, and we applaud our employees for their unrelenting commitment to our core values and to continuous improvement each year."
Arch's Appalachian operations in West Virginia recently earned 14 prestigious safety and environmental awards, including the state's top honors for mine reclamation and underground and surface mine safety, as announced at the Annual West Virginia Mining Symposium held on January 27-28.
The West Virginia Division of Environmental Protection (DEP) presented Wolf Run Mining's Sentinel complex with the 2015 Greenlands Awards for most outstanding overall performance and achievement in reclamation.
This is the eleventh Greenlands Award presented to an Arch subsidiary since 2001.
The West Virginia DEP also presented six statewide environmental awards to four Arch subsidiaries. Mingo Logan's Left Fork surface mine was recognized for innovative material placement and Coal-Mac's Phoenix No. 4 mine received statewide praise for its forestry reclamation. Coal Mac's Loggy Branch surface mine and Vindex Energy's preparation plant were honored for demonstrating exemplary performance in reclamation of a surface operation in the southern and northern areas, respectively. The idled Upshur properties earned West Virginia Reclamation Awards for outstanding coal refuse reclamation and construction techniques.
Furthermore, Coal-Mac's Phoenix No. 4 surface mine was selected for the 2015 West Virginia Good Neighbor Award for its exceptional performance in community outreach and good neighbor practices. This marks Coal-Mac's third consecutive year to be selected for the Good Neighbor Award.
In addition to earning a number of environmental awards, Arch subsidiaries garnered six West Virginia safety awards yesterday.
Coal-Mac's Holden 22 mine earned the 2015 Bart B. Lay, Jr. Milestones of Safety Award for achieving the best safety performance among West Virginia surface coal mines in 2015.
Tygart Valley's Leer mine earned the 2015 Eustace E. Frederick Milestones of Safety Award for achieving the best safety performance among underground coal mines in West Virginia.
Moreover, three other Arch subsidiary operations and facilities achieved West Virginia Mountaineer Guardian Awards for exemplary safety records achieved during calendar year 2015: Beckley's Pocahontas mine; Mingo Logan's Mountain Laurel Mountaineer II mine and Cardinal preparation plant; and Coal-Mac's Ragland loadout.
"These significant statewide awards recognize the professionalism, leadership and dedication of the men and women across our West Virginia operations," said Paul A. Lang, Arch's president and chief operating officer. "Year after year, our employees demonstrate what can be achieved when we focus on the values that form the foundation of our company. We're proud to set the standard in safety performance and environmental care in the region."
U.S.-based Arch Coal, Inc. is one of the world's top coal producers for the global steel and power generation industries, reliably serving customers worldwide. Its network of large-scale, low-cost mining complexes is the most diversified in the United States, spanning every major coal basin in the nation. The company controls more than 5 billion tons of high-quality metallurgical and thermal coal reserves, with access to all major railroads, inland waterways and a growing number of seaborne trade channels. For more information, visit www.archcoal.com.
SOURCE Arch Coal, Inc.