Luminant wins top national award for mine reclamation
DALLAS - For an unprecedented fifth time, Luminant has been honored w ith the U.S. Department of the Interior Office of Surface Mining's (OSM) Director's Award for its exemplary demonstration of advancing the science of reclamation. This is the second consecutive year that Luminant has been recognized with the OSM's highest distinction.
"We are extremely honored to be recognized again by the Office of Surface Mining for our reclamation achievements," said Mike Williams, Luminant's chief fossil officer. "Luminant has a history of environmental stewardship and as a company helped set reclamation standards. The company takes a lot of pride in remaining an industry leader decades later."
Luminant received the award for excellence in surface mining on October 28 during a ceremony in Washington, D.C. The OSM described Luminant's reclamation program as a "model for others in the coal industry to follow."
The company's award entry highlighted the Luminant Environmental Research Program, which began funding studies in 1971 and continues to do so today, some 38 years later. To ensure objectivity, a steering committee composed of leading scientists, educators and advisors guide the program. Students are offered the use of research facilities and living quarters near Luminant's Big Brown Power Plant and Mine near Fairfield, Texas.
As of the end of 2008, Luminant had provided more than $4.6 million in funding since the program's inception for the completion of more than 120 independent, published student theses and dissertations. These studies have focused on numerous environmental disciplines including geology, hydrology, soils, forestry, wildlife and wetlands. The research has not only influenced Luminant's environmental policies and practices but has also provided a valuable technical resource for regulatory agencies and helped establish industrywide practices.
Results from the program's research have also directly influenced the success of Luminant's mining and reclamation efforts. As a result, the company has:
• Reclaimed nearly 65,000 acres for uses such as forests, pastureland and wildlife habitat
• Planted almost 28 million trees on company land now certi- fied as a Tree Farm by the Texas Forest Service and the Texas Forestry Association
• Increased the extent of prime farmland soils at the Big Brown Mine area from approximately 5 percent to now more than 58 percent
• Increased the extent of prime farmland soils at the Monticello Winfield Mine area from 38 percent to more than 65 percent