BRISTOL, Va., Feb. 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE: ANR), a leading U.S. coal supplier, is pleased to announce that four of its affiliate operations have been honored by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and the West Virginia Coal Association for exemplary performance in protecting the environment, reclamation, reforestation, community outreach and enhancing post-mining land use.
The awards were presented during the 41st annual West Virginia Mining Symposium Jan. 31 in Charleston, W.Va.
"Environmental stewardship is a priority at Alpha and we continue to strive for excellence," said Gene Kitts, Alpha's senior vice president of environmental affairs. "We're proud to be honored by our industry peers, regulators and communities for our recent work in this area and will continue to push the boundaries through innovation, research and best practices to preserve our land and water."
Specific awards to Alpha's affiliates were:
- The award for Exemplary Construction Techniques Protecting the Environment on Drainage Structures was presented to Green Valley Coal Company. The Blue Branch Refuse Area was recognized for its utilization of stream channels, step pools and in-stream ponds to allow for natural fish migration patterns, prevent erosion and promote wildlife use.
- Green Valley Coal Company also received an award for Exemplary Performance in the Reclamation of an Underground Mine at the Adkins Lick Refuse. Located near Nettie, W.Va., the reclamation efforts in 2011 and 2012 established proper drainage and sediment control, re-graded the refuse area and improved water quality for Panther Creek.
- The award for Exemplary Performance Protecting the Environment and Enhancing the Post-Mining Land Use was given to White Flame Energy Inc.'s Surface Mine for developing the reclaimed mine into an air transportation park in partnership with the Mingo County Redevelopment Authority.
- Elk Run Coal Company, Inc. received the award for Exemplary Performance in Community Outreach and Being a Good Neighbor. Elk Run mines and miners contribute to their community in a variety of ways, including donations that helped update handicap classrooms, programs that provide needy children with food and the recent financing of a project that provided city water to the community of Blue Pennant.
- The West Virginia Society of American Foresters Reforestation Award was presented to Brooks Run Mining Company, LLC, for reforestation methods at Seven Pines Surface Mine. Located in Webster County, W.Va., Seven Pines has a specific focus on restoring local vegetation; to date, more than 100,000 seedlings have been planted on site, with historically high survival rates.