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Four companies have received Earth Day awards from the Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining for going "beyond what is required by regulation to protect the environment while responsibly developing Utah's natural resources."
At its meeting Wednesday, the DOGM board presented the awards to:
Alpine Gems, LLC • This company, which had lost its mining claim in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, not only reclaimed its site but agreed to a U.S. Bureau of Land Reclamation request to reclaim an abandoned 13-acre quarry about 2 miles away. Alpine's owners, the Lamoreaux family, did so without any BLM financial support.
Canyon Fuel Co. • The operators of the Sufco coal mine in Sevier County have contributed to habitat-improvement projects in the surrounding Fishlake National Forest. The mining company staff expanded a waste-rock sediment pond to provide drinking water for cattle, elk, moose and deer and developed a pipeline to distribute water to other ponds that dry up in late summer.
Rio Tinto Kennecott • The giant copper miner was honored for a project to dispose of waste rock in a way that revegetates the outer slope of new dumps. That work included changes to the Bingham Canyon Mine's water-collection infrastructure, including construction of 12 storm-water detention basins in 11 drainages.
Anadarko Petroleum Corp. • The mining company reclaimed, contoured and seeded 220 acres in the Greater Natural Buttes area of Uintah County, increasing soil stability and fertility. Changing its seeding practices to improve water penetration and native-seed retention and germination, the company's approach accelerated the reclamation process.