Surface Mining



Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy Receives Award for Environmental Excellence

Published: September 11, 2017 |

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An abandoned mine land project in Russell County received a national award for environmental excellence.

The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy’s Hurricane Fork Gob Pile Project was awarded a 2017 Abandoned Mine Land Award from the Office of Surface Mining and Enforcement, a bureau of the U.S. Department of Interior, according to a DMME news release.

The department carried out a project that cleared Southwest Virginia “of the single, worst mine-related impact to water quality in the Clinch River,” the release states.

Since 1987, the department has been working to remove the hazard. In 2014, it received approval to move ahead with the project from the Office of Surface Mining.

The department removed a 1.5 million-ton gob pile in Hurricane Fork.

“Gob piles are piles of waste made up of a small amount of coal mixed with shale from old coal mining operations and often seen as waste by operators,” the release states.

Gobco, an Abingdon-based company, was contracted to remove the gob pile, which was taken to Dominion Energy’s Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center, where it was burned for electricity production.

“Hurricane Fork was one of the projects where there was a lot of positive environmental results,” Walt Crickmer co-owner and manager of Gobco, said in a statement. “Working with DMME and Dominion Power to remove the one million tons of waste coal that was polluting the Clinch River makes this project one of the most memorable we have completed.”

Source: Bristol Herald Courier

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