Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster
Davis Motor Sales banner ad

Reclamation Excellence Earns Local Coal Firm State Award

HCC 1MADISONVILLE, Ky. (1/17/2013) – During a ceremony held at the State Office Building on Hospital Dr. in Madisonville this morning, a local coal company was honored for their reclamation efforts at a former surface-mining site in Hopkins Co. State legislators and officials from the Department for Natural Resources’ (DNR) Division of Mine Reclamation and Enforcement (DMRE) gathered at the DMRE’s Madisonville Regional Office and presented Hopkins County Coal, LLC (HCC) with the Annual Commissioner’s Excellence in Mine Reclamation Award.

Five such accolades are awarded each year, as the commissioner recognizes outstanding examples of reclamation in each of the five regional DMRE offices throughout the state. On-hand to deliver remarks today were DNR commissioner Steve Hohmann, Democratic Sen. Jerry Rhoades, and Republican Rep. Ben Waide.

HCC’s careful planning in conjunction with regulatory officials and their adherence to a detailed, site-specific plan resulted in successful post-mining land restoration, which included hay land/pasture, fish and wildlife habitat, permanent open water impoundments, stream restoration (Little Flat Creek), and several seasonal shallow water depressions.

Hohmann welcomed the members of the General Assembly during opening remarks and thanked them for “helping us award and recognize some outstanding reclamation. Often times, our agency is only recognized or known for its regulatory influence out in the state, and that often brings about some of the more negative things that we do with writing violations and adversarial positions … It’s always good for me to come out and point out that there are positive things to mining—a lot more positive than negative—and this is an example of that. Most coal companies complete their reclamation in a good manner and get their sites back to program standards.”

He lauded HCC for taking extra time and effort, going above and beyond in the reclamation project located on Little Flat Creek under permit number 854-0216. The 318-acre site is situated directly east of the proposed site for the Hopkins Co. Regional Sports Complex, across Interstate 69. Reclamation has been finalized on the majority of the site, earning most of the project a final phase 3 bond-release.

HCC 3Surface Manager, Kiah Winstead, and Engineer, Lee Harris, represented HCC and were presented with the first award, a poster featuring pictures and descriptions of work that took place on completed portions of the land. The pictures show lush wetlands and well-established trees and grassy areas. “It’s truly an exemplary showcase for that type of reclamation,” Hahmann continued. “It blends-in well with the surrounding countryside, and I would venture to say that after a few years … you won’t even know that it was ever surface-mined.”

The DNR Plaque for Outstanding Reclamation was then presented to Harris and Winstead, who accepted the award and were then joined by DMRE inspection personnel, Greg Logsdon, Chief Inspector; Robert Yonts, Madisonville Regional Administrator; and Danny Eizenga, Inspector/Bond-Release. While posing for pictures, Hahmann went on to say that progress is only made when cooperation exists between government regulators and coal companies.

“The coal company does all the heavy lifting; they do all the work; they put out the money to get it done; but it’s also in cooperation with our department that this is accomplished. Without some of the input and advice from our regional office people here in Madisonville, this site may not have turned out to be as good as it is.”

HCC 4Rhoads then addressed those assembled: “[This event] illustrates another positive aspect of the importance of coal mining to our region. Not only does it help us with low-cost energy—dependable energy—but it’s a boost to our economy with the jobs and the spin-off that it creates, and on top of that, it’s a boost to our environment.”

Rhoads said that the quality and appearance of some reclaimed areas is greatly enhanced compared to pre-mining conditions. “This is a win-win situation for everybody when we have, not only the economic benefits that come with coal-mining, but the environmental benefits that come with responsible reclamation.”

He congratulated HCC and echoed Hahmann’s remarks on the importance of cooperation. “This is a model of how it should be,” Rhoads said. “Rather than adversarial citations and fines … to me, it looks like you’ve worked as a partnership with a common goal … it’s just nice to drive down the road and see something like this because, if you’ve been around here a long time, we all know what the scars can look like when we see the old surface-mining that occurred years ago, before we had our regulations.”

HCC 5During Waide’s remarks, which came at the conclusion of the event, he said, “I think this is a great honor for Hopkins County Coal. This is just a reflection of what Lee and Kiah and everybody at Hopkins County Coal does every day. This isn’t something different or special—this is something they do every day, and I am so proud of the work that you guys do. The fact that we are taking this land and turning it into fish and wildlife habitat is thrilling.”

Pushing his weight around and drawing laughter from the guys, Waide joked that he would welcome the chance to hunt or fish the land, hinting to Winstead that he would need a guide to show him the best spots.

Regaining decorum, Waide continued, “It’s a special privilege to me to honor this private business that’s doing its job in a responsible manner … Myself, Speaker Greg Stumbo, and Senator Rhoads would like to bring a Legislative Citation that further honors Hopkins County Coal.”  He and Rhoads presented HCC with the citation and then beckoned the DMRE personnel to join for a group photo.

Following the event, Winstead told SurfKY News that, on behalf of HCC, he and Harris were grateful to be recognized by the DMRE and the legislators. He wished to recognize all of the HCC workers who toiled at the site. “They did a great job,” he said, adding, “We had the backing from our company, Alliance Coal, and we worked hand-in-hand with the state—they’re good guys to work with, and it means a lot to us. We appreciate all of this.”

Click on the Flickr slideshow below to view images from the reclamation project.

Casey Piscitelli
SurfKY News

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

button coupons
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
button classifieds

In Other News...

Dawson Springs Police Reports Released

DAWSON SPRINGS, Ky. (1/26/15) — The Dawson Springs Police Department released the following reports Monday, Jan. 26.… Read More

March 20-22 Women's Retreat: 'Holiness in Family Life'

OWENSBORO, Ky. (1/25/15) — "Holiness in Family Life: Lessons from Saint Monica and Elisabeth Leseur" will be the focus… Read More
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013

Most Read This Week

January 23, 2015 8547

Local Church's Faith Restored; 71 Souls Saved…

in Video by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
January 20, 2015 7345

Bridal, Prom, Pageant Expo Planned for February…

in Hopkins News by Dana Brown
January 22, 2015 7117

Nortonville Man Accused of Selling Drugs near…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Jail
January 21, 2015 5958

KYDOT Pre-Treating Roads Thursday in Antipation…

in Top News For All Sites by Keith Todd
January 23, 2015 5665

Parents Face Charges after Marijuana Joint Falls…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Jail
January 22, 2015 5521

MCEA Head: Further School Mergers Might Ease…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
January 21, 2015 4864

Man Arrested after Allegedly Nodding off on Baby…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Jail
January 23, 2015 4483

Nortonville Woman Charged for Meth Possession

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Hopkins County Sheriff's Office/Hopkins County Detention Center
January 25, 2015 4328

Dean’s List Announced

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Joyce Riggs
January 22, 2015 3678

Local Family Business Changes Hands

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Today

January 25, 2015 4328

Dean’s List Announced

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Joyce Riggs
January 26, 2015 2836

Man Goes to Jail after Allegedly Attacking Family

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Jail
January 26, 2015 2478

KSP Arrests Two on Child Porn Charges; MPD…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Trooper Stu Recke
January 25, 2015 2428

UPDATE: Two Die, Two Injured in Two-Vehicle…

in Local (Owensboro) Top News by Dispatcher Dustin Staves
January 25, 2015 2305

Juvenile Hit by Vehicle at McDonald's

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by GPD Officer Wes Miller
January 25, 2015 1929

Market Commentary - Jan. 25, 2015

in Top News For All Sites by Randall L. Franklin
January 25, 2015 1797

Kynect Enrollment Climbs as Countdown to Feb. 15…

in General News For All Sites by Office of the Governor
January 25, 2015 1732

March 20-22 Women's Retreat: 'Holiness in Family…

in Owensboro News by Jennifer Kaminski
January 25, 2015 1618

Legislator's Log - Week of Jan. 25, 2015

in General News For All Sites by Brent Yonts
January 25, 2015 1547

Dave Says - Jan. 25, 2015

in General News For All Sites by Dave Ramsey

SurfKY News Group, Inc.
Corporate Office & Studio
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431
270.452.2727 (phone)
  •  270.452.2249 (fax)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social fbsocial twsocial yt
social gpsocial flr subscribevideoitunessocial rss