De Ronde Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Receives 2021 National Award

OSMRE Announces Recipients of the 2021 Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Awards Bureau to Honor Five States for Exemplary Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation

WASHINGTON – The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) is pleased to announce the winners of its 2021 Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Awards. This year’s winning projects represent the Nation’s highest achievements in Abandoned Mine Land (AML) reclamation, demonstrating innovative reclamation techniques and outstanding results in restoring previously mined lands.

Established in 1992, the Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Awards recognize exemplary State and Tribal reclamation projects that reclaim coal mine sites that were abandoned before the enactment of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA). Eligible projects are funded wholly or in part by OSMRE’s AML Reclamation Fund. OSMRE’s AML Reclamation Program addresses the hazards and environmental degradation posed by two centuries of coal mining that occurred before SMCRA was enacted.

OSMRE managers, together with State and Tribal reclamation officials, determined this year’s winners. There are three categories of Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Awards: Small Project, Regional and National.

NATIONAL AWARD – Recognizes the overall highest-rated reclamation project

De Ronde AML Reclamation Project (IA-061 & IA-320) Mines and Minerals Bureau
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship

Over 2,000 feet of dangerous highwalls, 17 acres of hazardous piles and embankments, six ponds and nearly 25 acres of clogged stream lands located near the City of Beacon posed multiple environmental threats to the area. An attractive nuisance for children and young adults, the site had also been a safety concern for years. To address these hazards, Iowa’s AML Program implemented the conventional approach of clearing and grubbing, pit pond dewatering, mass grading, shallow water wetlands, soil neutralization, using intakes and terraced design to control and direct water flow, utilizing geomorphic reclamation in some areas and permanently seeding the reclaimed area. As a result of the Program’s efforts, the local watershed has been dramatically improved, leaving the area once again safe for the public.

OSMRE will present the 2021 Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Awards in a virtual awards ceremony in September, in conjunction with the Annual Conference of the National Association of Abandoned Mine Land Programs (NAAMLP).

The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) carries out the requirements of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 in cooperation with States and Tribes. OSMRE’s objectives are to ensure that coal mining activities are conducted in a manner that protects citizens and the environment during mining, to ensure that the land is restored to beneficial use after mining, and to mitigate the effects of past mining by aggressively pursuing reclamation of abandoned coal mines.


For the full press release sharing the small and regional award – please visit here:  FY21_AML_ReclamationAwards_8.13.2021