PITTSBURGH, April 4, 2011 /PRNewswire / -- CONSOL Energy (NYSE: CNX) was awarded the 2010 Best Combination Mining Award from the Virginia Division of Mined Land Reclamation and the Virginia Mining Association (VMA) for reclamation of its VP#4 mine site near Dismal, VA. The award, presented during the VMA's 40th annual meeting and awards banquet in Norton, Va., Saturday, recognizes CONSOL Energy for its reclamation efforts at the 73-acre VP#4 site.
To be eligible for the award, a site must be recommended by an inspector with the Virginia Department of Mines Minerals and Energy. Bob Bowen, who recently retired, was the nominating DMME reclamation inspector. He called the VP#4 reclamation site "one of the best reclamation efforts" he had seen in his 30-year career at the Virginia Division of Mined Land Reclamation.
Katharine Fredriksen, CONSOL Energy senior vice president of environmental strategy and regulatory affairs, noted the reclamation award for VP#4 is indicative of CONSOL Energy's commitment to being a good steward of the environment.
"We understand that our business has an impact on the environment in which we operate, which is why we take seriously our charge as stewards of the environment," Fredriksen said. "This award is recognition of our efforts -- and CONSOL is proud to accept it."
"As the first order of business in our reclamation designs, we seek out opportunities to take our reclaimed facilities to higher post mining land uses," said Charlie Bauguess, manager of closed operations for CONSOL Energy. "In the VP#4 design, we combined an industrial post mining use in the oil and gas industry, along with an unmanaged forestland post mining land use; and last but not least, we were able to enhance wildlife habitat all at the same time."
VP#4 was opened in 1971 and concluded operations in 1982. The initial permit consisted of an underground longwall mining complex with a preparation plant and refuse disposal facility. Extensive reclamation work was completed on the site which started with the disassembly and recycling of the preparation plant.
Following the preparation plant work, the plant and mine site were re-graded to create a new industrial post mining land use. The reclaimed site is now used as a natural gas gathering facility and compressor station, office and shop facilities, and storage yard.
Once the industrial post mining land use work was completed, the refuse disposal facility was re-graded and vegetated. In the refuse area, CONSOL Energy's post mining land use was planned as unmanaged forest land, however, the reclamation team was also able to incorporate a wildlife seed mixture which included birdsfoot trefoil, red clover, yellow clover and white clover. The tree selection for the site included a combination of both commercial and wildlife tree species which included red oak, white oak, sawtooth oak, pin oak, ash, white pine, loblolly pine, pitch pine, poplar, persimmon, paw paw, eastern redbud, dogwood, black cherry, button and indigo bush.
CONSOL Energy Central Appalachia Manager of Engineering Kelly Gilmer; Closed Operations Project Engineer Ed Asbury; and Environmental Permitting Supervisor Gerald Ramsey accepted the award on behalf of CONSOL Energy.
CONSOL Energy Inc., the leading diversified fuel producer in the Appalachian Basin, is a member of the Standard & Poor's 500 Equity Index and the Fortune 500. It has 11 bituminous coal mining complexes in five states and reports proven and probable coal reserves of 4.5 billion tons. It is also the leading Appalachian gas producer, with proved reserves of over 2.9 trillion cubic feet. Additional information about CONSOL Energy can be found at its Web site: http://www.consolenergy.com/.
SOURCE CONSOL Energy Inc.