Arch of West Virginia Earns Nation's Highest Reclamation Award
ST. LOUIS (Sept. 27, 2004) - The U.S. Department of the Interior today honored Arch Coal's (NYSE:ACI) Arch of West Virginia subsidiary with the Director's Award, the nation's top award for excellence in reclamation during the past year. A second Arch subsidiary, Coal-Mac, was recognized nationally as a recipient of the Good Neighbor Award for its exemplary interaction, communication and involvement with the surrounding landowners and community.
Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior Gale Norton presented the 2004 awards at the 27th annual Excellence in Surface Coal Mining Reclamation Awards ceremony conducted in conjunction with MINExpo in Las Vegas.
"We're honored to be recognized for our stewardship with these very prestigious awards," said Arch Coal's President and CEO Steven F. Leer. "We take our responsibility to the land and surrounding communities very seriously. We're pleased the dedicated employees at Arch of West Virginia and Coal-Mac were both celebrated today for their outstanding work."
Arch of West Virginia's Ruffner mine earned the highly coveted Director's Award for repairing environmental scars of the past at no cost to the state of West Virginia. Ruffner eliminated more than eight miles of abandoned rock face, known as highwalls, and re-mined numerous coal refuse areas left at the surface mine site by a previous operator prior to 1977. A variety of native wildlife species, including wood ducks, whitetail deer, wild turkey, black bear and mourning doves, are thriving on this former mine site that features hardwood trees and wildflowers.
Ruffner Mine also won this year's top environmental award in West Virginia, the Department of Environmental Protection's Greenlands Award. Ruffner's award-winning reclamation site is located approximately two miles southeast of Yolyn, W.Va. Arch of West Virginia employs roughly 275 people, and its operations produced 2.8 million tons of coal in 2003.
Arch's Coal-Mac operation earned the Silver Good Neighbor Award primarily for its implementation of the coal education program CEDAR of Southern West Virginia in 2001. This all-volunteer, nonprofit group expanded in 2003, and now covers four counties in southern West Virginia.
In its first three years, CEDAR has granted more than $24,000 to 146 kindergarten through twelfth grade teachers in an effort to integrate a factual study of coal into the classroom curriculum. In addition to direct funding, CEDAR also hosts an annual Coal Fair that gives students a chance to showcase projects that demonstrate how coal is formed, mined, and transported, as well as how the industry contributes to Americans' quality of life. To date, more than 3,071 students in southern West Virginia have directly benefited from the CEDAR program.
Coal-Mac's Phoenix Mine is located near Ragland, W.Va. The mining operation has approximately 200 employees, and produced 2.1 million tons of coal in 2003.
The Dept. of Interior's Office of Surface Mining (OSM), the agency responsible for regulating the environmental impacts of coal production, began the awards program in 1986. Nominations from coal mine operators are first judged by state mining regulatory agencies, which forward state-level winners to OSM Headquarters for final judging at the national level. A panel of experts from OSM completes the final judging. More information is available at: http://www.osmre.gov/activerules01.htm.
Arch Coal, Inc. (NYSE:ACI) is the nation's second largest coal producer and mines low-sulfur coal exclusively. Through its subsidiary operations in West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia, Wyoming, Colorado and Utah, Arch provides the fuel for approximately 7 percent of the electricity generated in the United States. Arch Coal maintains its corporate headquarters in St. Louis, Mo. More information is available at www.archcoal.com.