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November 2001, VOL. 19, NO. 3

EDITOR'S NOTE: There were only 3 Compact newsletters published in Volume 19 for 2001. November was the final issue for the year.

IMCC 2001 Fall Meeting Held in San Antonio


The 2001 Fall Meeting of the Interstate Mining Compact Commission (IMCC) was held on November 13-14 at the Menger Hotel in San Antonio, Texas.

On Tuesday, November 13, IMCC standing committees met throughout the day. Several representatives from the Office of Surface Mining (OSM) attended the joint meeting of the Coal Environmental Affairs and Abandoned Mine Lands Committees and discussed current OSM initiatives with the states. A noon luncheon and evening casual reception also took place on November 13. The Executive Commission Fall Business Meeting was held on Wednesday, November 14.

The 2002 Annual Meeting of the IMCC will mark the next scheduled meeting of the Compact. The meeting will be held at the Marriott Griffin Gate Resort in Lexington, Kentucky on April 21-24, 2002. More information and registration forms will appear in the next issue of theCompact newsletter.

IMCC Executive Director Presents Paper on Federal-State Relations

The Interstate Mining Compact Commission's (IMCC) Executive Director, Gregory E. Conrad, recently presented a paper at a meeting of the Association of Engineering Geologists and the American Institute of Professional Geologists. Mr. Conrad spoke on "Federal-State Relations in the Mining Regulatory Arena: Pursuing Productive Partnerships."

The presentation addressed several aspects of state-federal relations in the mining regulatory arena including recent court decisions, the new Administration's perspective, examples of recent success stories and the future of state/federal partnerships. Mr. Conrad discussed various issues including multiple use management of natural resources, measuring government performance, renewed emphasis on state sovereignty, and opportunities for states and the federal government to work together to accomplish common goals, objectives and strategies related to mining and the environment. Several principles for intergovernmental cooperation, coordination and communication were suggested.

According to Mr. Conrad, "In the end, through concerted and focused efforts, government can pursue productive partnerships that will allow us to balance the use of our abundant natural resources with the required environmental protection and preservation."

Copies of the paper are available by contacting the IMCC office at Phone: 703.709.8654, or Email: gconrad@imcc.isa.us.

Call for IMCC 2002 National Reclamation and Mineral Education Award Nominations

Year 2002 will mark the sixteenth year of the Interstate Mining Compact Commission's (IMCC) Kenes C. Bowling National Mine Reclamation Awards, and the third year of IMCC's National Mineral Education Awards. Nominations for the reclamation awards are due to IMCC from member states by January 15, 2002. Nominations for the education awards are due to IMCC by February 1, 2002. The awards will be presented during a banquet at IMCC's 2002 Annual Meeting in Lexington, Kentucky on April 23.

Reclamation Awards are presented each year in the Coal and Noncoal categories. A special "Small Operator" award is presented when the Awards Committee deems a small operator particularly deserving of recognition. Honorable Mentions are also awarded in both the Coal and Noncoal categories. Nominations must submitted to the state regulatory authority by December 1, 2001. Each state regulatory authority is allowed to submit one nomination in each of the categories (coal and noncoal) to IMCC.

Two categories of Mineral Education Awards are presented annually. The Mining Awareness Educator Award is presented to an individual teacher or school from an IMCC member state, and the Public Outreach Award is presented to an industry, environmental, citizen or other group, and/or to a state government body, and/or an individual (other than a school teacher), that has achieved excellence in one or more of several categories.

For a copy of criteria and application forms for the reclamation and/or education awards, contact IMCC at Phone: 703.709.8654, or Email: gconrad@imcc.isa.us.

OSM Calls for Nominations for 2002 Reclamation Awards

The Office of Surface Mining (OSM) in the Department of the Interior (DOI) has issued a call for nominations for it's year 2002 "Excellence in Surface Coal Mining Reclamation Awards." Nominations are due to the state regulatory authorities, or OSM's field office in non-primacy states, by February 1, 2002. Nominations will be screened by the regulatory authority, and the best entries (a maximum of four National Awards, one Director's Award, and an unlimited number of 25th Anniversary Awards from each state) forwarded to OSM field offices by February 15, 2002. Field offices will evaluate and forward the nominations to OSM's Headquarters in Washington, D.C. by March 8, 2002, for judging on March 12, 2002.

For further information, contact the local OSM field office, or Chuck Meyers, Office of Surface Mining, Washington, D.C. 20240. Telephone 202.208.7940; E-mail: cmeyers@osmre.gov.

DOI Deputy Secretary Griles Announces 2001 Reclamation Award Winners

Deputy Secretary of the Interior Steve Griles recently announced the winners of the Office of Surface Mining's (OSM) 2001 Excellence in Surface Mining Reclamation Awards. Coal mine operators in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia, and Wyoming, were winners of the 2001 awards. Griles, filling in for Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton, presented the awards to the winners of this year's competition at an awards ceremony luncheon in Washington, D.C. on November 6 hosted by the National Mining Association.

Winners of OSM's 2001 Excellence in Surface Mining Awards are:

Director's Award: Black Beauty Coal Company, Indiana and Illinois Surface Mining Operations.

National Awards: RAG, Twentymile Coal Company Mine #1 and Eckman Park, Oak Creek, Colorado; McCoy Elkhorn Coal Corp. Burke Prep Plant & Load Out Facility, Kimper, Kentucky; Bellaire Corporation Indian Head Mine, Beulah, North Dakota; Kindill Mining, Inc. Mine #2, Alford Field, Petersburg, Indiana; Glenrock Coal Company Dave Johnston Mine, Glenrock, Wyoming; Penn Coal Corp., Bluewater Deep Mine No. 1, Wilsondale, West Virginia; TXU Mining Company Monticello Mine, Mt. Pleasant, Texas; The Coteau Properties Company Freedom Mine, Beulah, North Dakota; Triad Mining, Inc. Switz City Mine, Switz City, Indiana; and P & N Coal Company Urey Mine, Urey, Pennsylvania.

Virginia DMME Receives Prestigious Productivity and Quality Award

Governor Jim Gilmore of Virginia recently recognized the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) for winning the highest honor bestowed by the United States Senate Productivity and Quality Award (SPQA). DMME won the prestigious 2001 Award for Continuing Excellence (ACE) for demonstrating "sustained exemplary performance in quality and performance improvements." It is the first state agency in the 18-year history of the awards program to win the ACE.

"DMME has established a benchmark for Virginia and other state and federal government agencies in providing innovative, quality services to its customers," said Governor Gilmore. "I am extremely proud of DMME's employees - led by their director, Gene Dishner - for taking ownership and responsibility for their work and for raising their standards to provide high quality services using cutting-edge technologies to meet their customer needs."

DMME provides services to the coal, mineral, gas and oil extraction industries as well as the public affected by these extraction activities, including businesses, colleges and universities and government agencies needing geologic and mineral resources information. These services help companies operate mineral extraction sites in a safe and environmentally sound manner through technical assistance, training, and enforcement of mining laws and regulations. The agency won an SPQA plaque for outstanding achievement in quality and productivity improvement in 1992 and the Medallion of Performance Excellence in 1996.

"DMME has helped dispel the stereotype of the typical government bureaucracy by focusing on employee and customer involvement, quality customer service, results-oriented performance, innovation and risk-taking," said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Barry DuVal.

Virginia Safety Training Materials Win National Awards

Coal mine safety training materials developed by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) mine safety staff won two national awards at the TRAM Conference/National Mine Instructors Seminar held October 9-11, 2001 at the National Mine Health and Safety Academy in Beckley, West Virginia. The awards are presented by the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) as part of the agency's annual training materials competition.

"Our training and technical specialist staff have worked very hard to come up with new, innovative ideas and methods for delivering effective mine safety training to Virginia's coal industry," said Division of Mines Chief Frank Linkous. "We have received positive feedback from our industry customers and I am pleased to see both the efforts of our staff and our training program recognized with these awards."

DMME training materials won the first place award in the States and Other Government category and the Grand Prize for the best training materials in all categories, including Academia and Industry. The training materials, developed by DMME's Division of Mines staff, focus on continuing education for underground coal mine foremen, new miner contact training, and high voltage electricity safety. Underground Mine Foreman Continuing Education training materials include a computer CD containing a PowerPoint slide show that includes animation and sound.

Virginia coal mine safety training materials have been previously recognized with MSHA first place awards in the State-Coal Mining Category in 1996, 1997, 1998, and 1999, and a first place in the General Category in 1997.
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