WILLIAMSPORT – The Department of Environmental Protection has announced that P&N Coal Company Inc. of Punxsutawney, Jefferson County, recently received the nation’s best coal mine reclamation project award from the National Association of State Land Reclamationists, following a nomination submitted by the department.
“The department was pleased to learn that a Pennsylvania company nominated by DEP had won such a prestigious national award,” DEP Deputy Secretary for Active and Abandoned Mine Operations John Stefanko said. “This important project, done through a no-cost Government Financed Construction Contract (GFCC), has made 32 acres of highly used State Game Lands 77 in Sandy Township much safer for area hunters.”
The project reclaimed nearly three miles of dangerous abandoned high wall and 32 acres of abandoned surface mine. It also restored 900 feet of Slab Run, a tributary to Sandy Lick Creek. P&N was also able to abate acid mine drainage flowing into Slab Run by adding large quantities of lime to the backfill material.
A no-cost GFCC allows DEP to issue reclamation contracts without cost to the commonwealth to reclaim abandoned mine lands, while the operator is allowed to remove coal that is incidental and necessary to the completion of the reclamation. For this project, DEP provided partial funding of the alkaline addition through a $300,000 grant from the Growing Greener Environmental Stewardship fund, which is funded in part by impact fees paid by natural gas drillers.
Reclamation performed by P&N Coal on the two adjacent contracts had an estimated value of $1.7 million, which was done at no expense to the commonwealth.
The award was presented to P&N Coal President John Prushnok by National Association of State Land Reclamationists President Thomas Gragg during a recent meeting in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The association annually presents awards for best coal mine and non-coal mine reclamation projects.
For more information, visit http://www.dep.state.pa.us or call 717-783-2267.