Regional
10:18 am
Thu August 13, 2009

Mine Remediation Wins Honor

New Mexico – Efforts to clean up football field-sized coal pits and other signs of 16 years of mining at the now-closed La Plata Mine outside Farmington are earning high praise from the U.S. Department of Interior.

Mine owner BHP Billiton has removed 1,700 acres of coal pits and re-created rolling hills and valleys covered with native vegetation.

The remediation effort has now won a national excellence award from the federal Office of Surface Mining, which says the project went beyond industry standards. Surface Mining Acting Director Glenda Owens says in a letter to BHP Billiton that the company's efforts are a model for other closed mines.

The La Plata Mine shut down in 2002 after 42 million tons of coal was removed for use at the San Juan Generating Station.

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Information from: The Daily Times, http://www.daily-times.com

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.