OFFICE of SURFACE MINING
RECLAMATION and ENFORCEMENT

U.S. Department of the Interior

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AR Newsroom

The Appalachian Region is hard at work and constantly progressing. Read about the various projects, news, events, and stories occurring within the region.

Select a Year to View OSMRE AR Stories and News Releases

2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 (and below)


Date Description
2017 Stories and News Releases
January 6 OSMRE Announces More Than $180 Million in Funding Availability for States and Tribes for Abandoned Coal Mine Reclamation
2016 Stories and News Releases
December 7 Secretary Jewell Announces Decision to Protect 75,000 Acres of Eastern Tennessee Mountains From Future Surface Mining
October 21 OSMRE Releases Final Documents on Tennessee’s Petition for Lands Unsuitable for Mining
August 16 OSMRE to Initiate Rulemaking on Self-Bonding for Coal Mines
August 9 OSMRE Issues Policy Advisory Regarding Use of Self-bonding For Coal Mine Reclamation
August 3 OSMRE Funds National Academy of Sciences Study of Potential Health Risks Related to Surface Coal Mining in Central Appalachia
June 14

ARRI Mined Land Reforestation Conference

10th Annual ARRI Mined Land Reforestation Conference, 'Perspectives on the FRA' in Knoxville, TN August 2-3, 2016.

The 10th Annual ARRI Mined Land Reforestation Conference will be held in Knoxville, TN August 2-3, 2016. The theme this year is “Perspectives on the FRA.”

For more information visit the ARRI Website.

For registration, updates, and more information on the program, visit the Conference Website.

May 2

OSMRE Solicits Comments for Proposed 2016 Oversight Performance Agreements

Reg-8 Oversight Database (ODocs).

OSMRE is soliciting comments from citizens, environmental groups, industry and other interested parties regarding our Proposed Oversight Performance Agreements, which can be found in the Reg-8 Oversight Database (ODocs). Commenting period runs May 1-15, 2016.

For more information and/or to provide feedback, visit the OSMRE Website.

March 1

OSMRE Solicits Comments for the Development of the 2017 Oversight Performance Agreements

Reg-8 Oversight Database (ODocs).

OSMRE solicited comments, recommendations, or suggestions for topics from citizens, environmental groups, and industry to include in our 2017 current Annual or Bi-Annual Performance Agreement. Commenting period runs March 1-30, 2016.

For more information and/or to provide feedback, visit the OSMRE Website.

February 8 OSMRE Reopens Comment Period on TNLUM Petition
January 11 OSMRE Begins Public Hearings January 11 on Tennessee LUM Petition
2015 Stories and News Releases
December 10 OSMRE Opens Comment Period on Draft EIS for TNLUM and Announces Public Hearings to Gather Input from Stakeholders
July 6

Treatment Systems at the Flight 93 Memorial

OSMRE Appalachian Region Technology Transfer (ARTT) Event at the Flight 93 Memorial: Enhanced Solids Removal and Passive Removal of Manganese at Circumneutral pH tours on August 27, 2015.

OSMRE held the technology transfer event, Enhanced Solids Fe Removal and Passive Removal of Manganese at Circumneutral pH at the Flight 93 Memorial on August 27th, 2015 to discuss the treatment being performed at the memorial.

June 6

2015 Watershed of the Year; 20 Additional Groups Recognized for Their Achievements

2015 Watershed of the Year Winners, Friends of the Lower Greenbrier River, with the OSMRE Appalachain Region Director, Thomas Shope.

Watershed volunteers gathered at Hawks Nest State Park on Saturday, June 6 to be recognized for their work to improve West Virginia’s streams and rivers. During the 17th annual Watershed Celebration Day, volunteers had an opportunity to visit Morris Creek Watershed where they learned how the local watershed group is restoring Morris Creek and engaging in other innovative projects, including: treating acid mine drainage, stabilizing stream banks, creating energy using a hydro-generator, making Google maps, planting trees, and partnering with universities for educational programs.

Learn more about AR Watersheds - Read the Full Media Release

May 11

Planting at the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden

Volunteers plant trees on a site well prepared using the Forestry Reclamation Approach.

36 volunteers, including staff from the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement’s Appalachian Regional Office, gathered at the site of the Pittsburgh Botanical Garden to plant trees on a former coal mine that will be part of the Garden. The site is being remined with some of the proceeds from the sale of the coal going towards expanding the Garden’s grounds. Approximately 1800 trees consisting of mixed hardwoods and conifers were planted. The site was well prepared for tree planting using the Forestry Reclamation Approach.

Read the Full Article.

May 1

OSMRE Solicits Comments for Proposed 2016 Oversight Performance Agreements

Reg-8 Oversight Database (ODocs).

OSMRE solicited comments from citizens, environmental groups, industry and other interested parties regarding our Proposed Oversight Performance Agreements, which can be found in the Reg-8 Oversight Database (ODocs). Commenting period was May 1-15, 2015.

For more information or to provide feedback, visit the ODocs Website.

March 13

Registration for the 2015 ASMR ARRI Joint National Conference

2015 ASMR ARRI Joint National Conference Graphic.

The 32nd National Meeting of the American Society of Mining and Reclamation and the 9th Annual ARRI Reforestation Conference was held June 7 to 11, 2015 at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center in Lexington Kentucky.

The full meeting agenda, registration, and hotel information are available now.

March 1

OSMRE Solicits Comments for the Development of the 2016 Oversight Performance Agreements

Reg-8 Oversight Database (ODocs).

OSMRE solicited comments, recommendations, or suggestions for topics from citizens, environmental groups, and industry to include in our 2016 current Annual or Bi-Annual Performance Agreement. Commenting period was March 1-30, 2015.

For more information or to provide feedback, visit the ODocs Website.

February 17

SME's Environmental Division Outstanding Paper Award

Example of a coal waste slurry impoundment in steep-slope topography in West Virginia.

SME awarded Peter Michael and his co-authors the Environmental Division Outstanding Paper Award for the technical paper titled "Preventing Coal Waste Impoundment Breakthroughs into Underground Mines: How well are we doing?"

The award was announced at the Environmental Division luncheon, Tuesday February 17th, at the 2015 Annual SME Conference. The authors along with Peter are Stefanie Self, Mike Richmond, Mike Shapaka, and John Mack.

Read the award-winning technical paper

2014 Stories and News Releases
November 19 Typical monitoring well installation with pressure transducer for automated water level recording.

OSMRE Releases Studies of Mine Pools Near the North Branch of the Potomac River and Monongahela River

OSMRE completed two mine-pool studies that characterized large, complex underground systems in West Virginia and Maryland, assessed the risk of polluted discharges, and recommended management, monitoring, and water treatment strategies. Both reports are available to the public.

Learn More about the Studies - OSMRE News Release

July 31

Secretary Jewell, Director Pizarchik to Celebrate Official Public Opening of Pittsburgh Botanic Garden

Pittsburgh Botanic Garden.

Pittsburgh had been the last Major Metropolitan Area without a Botanic Garden. On Friday, August 1, 2014, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Director of the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) Joseph Pizarchik will take part in the grand opening ceremony of the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, a preservation and public education and recreation project, as part of Interior’s commitment to water restoration and connecting youth to the great outdoors.

Read More about this Event

June 17 West Virginia waterline.

OSMRE Issues Review of West Virginia Water Supply Projects

The report contained an oversight review of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection's Office of Abandoned Mine Lands and Reclamation (OAMLR) Waterline Project evaluation process.

Read More

May 28

Two OSMRE AR Employees win Bronze and Gold Excellence in Government Awards

Jay Hawkins (left) recieved a Gold Award for Outstanding Professional Employee. Bonita Uniatowski (right) received a Bronze Award for Outstanding Administrative Employee.

The Pittsburgh Federal Executive Board (FEB) held the 2014 Excellence in Government Awards Program at the Westin Convention Center Hotel in Pittsburgh on May 23, 2014.  The Pittsburgh FEB Awards Committee selected two Appalachian Regional staff, from among numerous qualified candidates in the Pittsburgh region, to receive awards.  

Jay Hawkins received a Gold Award as an Outstanding Professional Employee. Bonita Uniatowski received a Bronze Award as an Outstanding Administrative Employee.

May 8

Longtime OSMRE Employees Honored with Interior Department’s Distinguished Service Awards

On May 8, 2014, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell honored two veteran OSMRE employees with one of the Department’s most coveted and prestigious awards. At a ceremony in Washington, DC, Joseph L. Blackburn and Michael K. Robinson each received a Distinguished Service Award, the highest honorary recognition for Interior employees.

Read More

May 1

OSMRE Solicits Comments for Proposed 2015 Oversight Performance Agreements

Reg-8 Oversight Database (ODocs).

OSMRE solicited comments from citizens, environmental groups, industry and other interested parties regarding our Proposed Oversight Performance Agreements, which can be found in the Reg-8 Oversight Database (ODocs). Commenting period was May 1-15, 2014.

For more information or to provide feedback, visit one of the following OSMRE AR state pages: Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia

April 28 2014 ARRI Reforestation Conference.

Register for the 2014 ARRI Conference

On August 5 and August 6, 2014, ARRI will host its 8th Annual Conference at the Compton Science Center, Frostburg State University in Frostburg, Maryland. The event will include a field trip on Tuesday, August 5th and presentations and awards on Wednesday, August 6th.

Learn More and Register!

April 25 Plant a Tree at Flight 93.

Plant a Tree at Flight 93

On Friday, April 25, the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative (ARRI) and Appalachian Region staff volunteered at the 2014 ‘Plant a Tree at Flight 93’ event in Somerset County, PA. The National Park Service anticipated participation from nearly 400 volunteers and up to 20 agency/professional forestry experts to assist with planting 20,400 seedlings, reforesting more than 30 acres of ground.

Read More about this Event

April 18

Groups planted trees on Bell County reclaimed surface mine site

As part of the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative, groups from across Kentucky planted hundreds of trees on Good Friday on a reclaimed mine site in Bell County for Arbor Day.

March 28 Appalachian Region Website screenshot.

The Appalachian Region Launches New Website

Like the OSMRE national site, the Appalachian Region has redesigned its website. Learn more about the new website's features and enhancements.

March 14 2013 ARRI Conference attendees visited a West Virginia University forestry demonstration. Attendees were able to view the fast growth of chestnuts on a site at Birch River.

Call for Papers/Presentations for ARRI 2014 Conference

Proposals were due April 4th, 2014. This year conference focuses on mine land reforestation for water quality enhancement and will be held on August 5 & 6, 2014 at Frostburg State University in Frostburg, Maryland.

Read the Announcement

March 5

Coal Companies and Subsidiaries to Spend Estimated $200 Million on Treatment and System-wide Upgrades to Reduce Water Pollution

$27.5 Million Civil Penalty is Largest in History Under Section 402 of the Clean Water Act

Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. (Alpha), one of the nation’s largest coal companies, Alpha Appalachian Holdings (formerly Massey Energy), and 66 subsidiaries have agreed to spend an estimated $200 million to install and operate wastewater treatment systems and to implement comprehensive, system-wide upgrades to reduce discharges of pollution from coal mines in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia, the Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today.

Read News Release

2013 Stories and News Releases
November 27

New Forest Reclamation Advisories Available

New Forest Reclamation Advisories, No. 10 and 11, Available

The Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative's (ARRI) Science Team published two new Forest Reclamation Advisories:

Forest Reclamation Advisory (FRA) No. 10:
Reforestation to Enhance Appalachian Mined Lands as Habitat for Terrestrial Wildlife


Forest Reclamation Advisory No. 11: Establishing Native Trees on Legacy Surface Mines

View All Published FRAs

November 25

National Fish Habitat Partnership Launches Partner Video Series

The National Fish Habitat Partnership released its first video in a series highlighting the work of the National Fish Habitat Partnerships across the country. The first video highlighted restoration efforts on Aaron Run, a tributary of the Savage River in Western Maryland.
Read News Release - Watch Video

June 18

OSMRE Reintroduces the TROMPE

The passive aeration technology (TROMPE) was developed under an Applied Science grant from the OSMRE's Technology Transfer Program and installed at the North Fork Passive Treatment System with the support of the Montour Run Watershed Association.
Read News Story - Watch Video

January 1

AMDTreat 5.0.2 Plus NOW AVAILABLE!

AMDTreat 5.0.2 Plus corrected minor convergence issues identified during case study tests performed by the developers. Learn More >

2012 (and Below) Stories and News Releases
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OSMRE Publishes Applied Science Final Report Fact Sheets

As part of OSMRE's Technology Development and Transfer function, published Fact Sheets inform interested parties about results from completed Applied Science Projects funded by OSMRE. Learn More >

N/A

NMMR's State of the Art Equipment

OSMRE's National Mine Map Repository (NMMR) routinely utilizes state of the art equipment to accomplish their mission of protecting and preserving mine maps for future generations. Read More >

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Reforestation in Appalachia and the Forestry Reclamation Approach (FRA)

The Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative (ARRI) continually advocates the use of the Forestry Reclamation Approach (FRA) to reclaim coal mined lands. Read More >



Page Last Modified/Reviewed: 1/6/17

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