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Pennsylvania mining companies win national award, April 25, 2002

Source: Department of Environmental Protection news release

HARRISBURG (April 25) -- On behalf of Gov. Mark Schweiker, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Deputy Secretary for Mineral Resources Management J. Scott Roberts today congratulated three Pennsylvania mining companies that were selected for national awards by the Interstate Mining Compact Commission (IMCC).

Signor Brothers of Arnot, Tioga County, is the winner of the National Mine Reclamation Award in the Small Operator Category for its Babb Creek Operation in Tioga County. Joy Mining Machinery of Warrendale, Allegheny County, and Pennsy Supply Inc. of Harrisburg, Dauphin County, were honored for public outreach.

“These companies went above and beyond their regular operation to help restore our environment and educate Pennsylvanians about mining, minerals and modern reclamation,” said Roberts, who is Gov. Schweiker’s designated representative for the IMCC. “These awards recognize the important role that mining companies should play in their host communities.”

Signor Brothers received special recognition as a small coal operator for excellence in reclamation. The company’s mining operation removed 22,000 tons of coal refuse that had been used to build a railroad bed along Babb Creek in the late 1800s. The coal refuse was polluting Babb Creek with acid mine drainage. Signor Brothers designed the project with stream bank protection methods to remove the refuse without impacting the stream.

The project used downed trees along the stream bank to turn Babb Creek away from the refuse removal, a move that also provided a fish habitat. As a result of the refuse removal, one of the last major pollution sources in the stream was eliminated. The company used only four employees to complete the reclamation.

Joy Mining was honored with the 2002 Public Outreach Award for its efforts to increase mining and mineral literacy for school children in the communities where it mines. Through classroom and community presentations, the company educates the public about the need for minerals and the environmental stewardship that is necessary in mining. The company spoke to more then 5,000 students in 2001.

Pennsy Supply received an honorable mention for the development and implementation of its innovative “Rockman” curriculum. The program introduces students to mining techniques and equipment, with special emphasis on reclamation during and after mining. Pennsy is also a partner in DEP’s “Stay Out – Stay Alive” mine hazard awareness campaign.

The awards were presented at an April 23 banquet in Lexington, Kentucky, as part of the IMCC Annual Meeting.
This is the second consecutive year that Pennsylvania companies have been honored by the IMCC. Last year, Pioneer Mid-Atlantic Inc. was recognized for its Baggaley Quarry in Westmoreland County and ACV Power Corp. for its Wildwood Project in Allegheny County.

The IMCC is a multi-state government organization representing the natural resource and environmental protection interests of its 20 member states. The annual awards program recognizes outstanding achievement in reclamation and promotes reclamation on a national level. Winners are selected based on compliance, contemporaneous reclamation, drainage control, post-mining land use and innovative practices.

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