The agency will once again select companies to honor that have carried out outstanding reclamation practices at active mine sites — particularly those that exceed Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 requirements.

Additionally, it is looking for nominees for its Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Reclamation awards honors; these are bestowed to state reclamation programs that address adverse effects of mining that were performed prior to the integration of the regulations.

Previous OSMRE award-winning projects have showcased the benefits of reforestation in reclaiming mined areas; techniques that shape the land tend to more closely resemble the appearance and function of the area prior to mining; and the creation of wetlands to mitigate water pollution from abandoned mine sites.

Nominations are being accepted through March 25 for the Excellence in Surface Coal Mining Reclamation Awards and April 22 for the Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation recognition.

The 2016 Excellence in Surface Coal Mining Reclamation Awards will be presented on September 26-28 at MINExpo International in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 2016 AML Reclamation Awards will be given out at the annual conference of the National Association of Abandoned Mine Land Programs, scheduled for September 25-28 in Bozeman, Montana.