|Arch Coal Earns National Mine Reclamation Award for Environmental Stewardship|
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (April 27, 2004) - Arch Coal today announced that its Arch of West Virginia surface mine received the Interstate Mining Compact Commission's (IMCC) National Mine Reclamation Award for its innovative practices in land reclamation.Nominated by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, Arch of West Virginia's Ruffner surface mine earned the IMCC's Kenes C. Bowling National Mine Reclamation Award in the coal category. Ruffner Mine was selected primarily for repairing environmental scars left at the site by a former operator prior to 1977. Ruffner eliminated more than eight miles of abandoned rock face, known as highwalls, and covered numerous old coal refuse areas. In addition, the IMCC recognized Ruffner Mine's exemplary efforts in the creation of stable habitat for wildlife, and hay and pastureland for livestock grazing.
"The IMCC commends Arch of West Virginia's Ruffner mine for taking extra efforts to implement techniques that protect people and the environment from the adverse effects of coal mining, while at the same time allowing access to a mineral vital to our nation's economy and the well-being of our society," said Gregory E. Conrad, IMCC's executive director.
Roughly 300 people operate Arch of West Virginia's surface and underground mines in Logan County, W.Va. The Ruffner Mine depleted its reserves in late 2003, and is now in the final stages of reclamation. Last year, Arch of West Virginia's combined operations sold approximately 2.8 million tons of low-sulfur coal. Arch of West Virginia's award-winning reclamation also was named West Virginia's best of 2003, according to the W.Va. Department of Environmental Protection.
"We're very honored that Arch of West Virginia received one of the nation's top reclamation awards," said John Eaves, Arch Coal's executive vice president and chief operating officer. "During the life of the Ruffner Mine, not only was enough coal produced to generate electricity to millions of U.S. homes, when mining was completed the land was also restored and often improved."
The IMCC is a multi-state governmental organization representing the natural resource interests of its 20 member states in Washington, D.C. The IMCC Awards Program recognizes companies who maintain regulatory compliance and apply innovative techniques to reclaim mine lands.
St. Louis-based Arch Coal (NYSE:ACI) is one of the nation's largest coal producers 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 6 percent of the electricity generated in the United States.