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Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Reclamation > Public Outreach > Indiana Society of Mining & Reclamation Indiana Society of Mining & Reclamation

The Indiana Society of Mining and Reclamation (ISMR) formed in 1986 as an advisory to then IDNR Director James Ridenour. Initially it was entitled the Coal Mining and Reclamation Task Force (CMRTF). Shortly thereafter the group identified a permanent and ongoing need for such a diverse and professional group whereupon the exploratory term “Task Force” was no longer appropriate.

ISMR is a professional alliance providing opportunity for education and communication of technical advances in mining and reclamation. When formed, its’ mission was to “communicate, coordinate, and aid in obtaining funding for research in the areas of coal mining and reclamation of mined land.” Five years later, the funding objectives were removed and the focus sharpened to communication and multiple forums of technology and information exchange.

The single most successful means of exchange has been the annual Technology Transfer Seminar. The first was held in 1987 as a one-day workshop featuring primarily local miners, land restoration specialists, and academia. Since its inception, it has grown to a full 2-day seminar. The first day is set aside as a series of workshops run simultaneously for specific technical topics and re-certifications. The second day remains devoted to brief presentations of research and developments in mining and land restoration. The 25th annual workshop will be held December 5-6, 2011 at the Jasper Inn and Convention Center.

Proceedings from previous workshops are available here.

The Executive Committee of the Indiana Society of Mining and Reclamation is comprised of 11 members appointed by the Director of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). The Chair is the IDNR- Deputy Director for the Bureau of Regulatory Management. Additional members include four representatives of large and small mining companies; one from the IDNR, Division of Reclamation and one member from the Indiana Geological Survey. In addition, are a representative from the Office of Energy and Defense Development with direct working knowledge of State energy policy, various coal forums, and energy committees; a representative of the U.S. Office of Surface Mining; and three positions from the academic community with interests and/or expertise in the mining and reclamation process. There is also a representative from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, and an at-large representative who may be a member of a public environmental organization, private industrial consultant, or an individual who has some special talent or project that relates to the purpose of the Society. Individuals are appointed to the Executive Committee for a term of three years. The terms are staggered and renewable.

Vance “Pat” Wiram Award for Innovation in Reclamation and Mining Technology

As part of the annual summit, mining and reclamation awards are presented. They are the Vance “Pat” Wiram Award for Innovation in Reclamation and Mining Technology sponsored by ISMR and, the Indiana Excellence in Mining and Reclamation Award selected by the IDNR-Division of Reclamation.

This award honors an individual who has gone that extra step in applying new and innovative ideas to the enhancement of surface mining and reclamation. It is presented each year for contributions made to the development or implementation of new technologies or concepts in mining and reclamation. This award, previously known as the Innovation Award, was renamed in honor of Vance “Pat” Wiram. A founding member of ISMR, Pat enthusiastically promoted and supported sound and responsible environmental concepts. In addition to his leadership throughout the coalfields, he was an enthusiastic and tireless resource champion in his own community and countless other social and professional outlets. His name was added to the Innovation Award as a tribute to his dedication after he passed away suddenly in 1996.

Past Vance “Pat” Wiram Award for Innovation in Reclamation and Mining Technology winners (pdf files)
There was no presentation for 2008.

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Indiana Excellence in Mining and Reclamation Award

This is the Indiana Department of Natural Resources-Division of Reclamation’s highest award for outstanding achievement in the field of surface coal mining and reclamation. It is presented to a company for exemplary performance at a specific mine site. The winner is placed in nomination for the National Mined Lands Reclamation Award presented by the National Association of State Land Reclamationists and the Office of Surface Mining Regional Awards.

Past Indiana Excellence in Mining and Reclamation Award winners (pdf files)


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Nomination Criteria And Instructions For ISMR Awards

Vance “Pat” Wiram Award For Innovation in Reclamation and Mining Technology

ISMR is seeking nominations for individuals who have made significant contributions to the development or implementation of new technologies or concepts in mining and reclamation. We urge you to nominate an individual that you feel has gone that extra step in applying new and innovative ideas toward the enhancement of surface mining and reclamation.

Criteria and Eligibility: Individuals having a direct or indirect involvement in surface mining and/or reclamation who deserve recognition for innovative ideas applied to this broad area of interest are eligible. Recipients may be individuals in regulatory agencies, educators, environmentalists, journalists, politicians, mine operators, mining engineers, geologists, or administrative personnel. Nominees for this award must have been active in some area of mining and/or reclamation at the time of their nominations.

Nomination Procedures: All nominations should follow the prescribed format:

Identify nominee: Include name, mailing address, and phone number.

Identify nominator: Include name, mailing address, and phone number.

Clearly identify and evaluate the contributions made by the nominee.

List

  1. Education--academia field, date, and institution for each degree held;
  2. Career--dates, organizations, and locations of all professional positions beginning with current position and ending with the first position;
  3. Professional Services--membership in professional societies, service on professional committees, and indicating leadership where appropriate;
  4. Past Honors and Awards--any that are appropriate;
  5. Justification--identify the primary contributions on which the nomination is based, emphasizing the innovative ideas of concepts for which the nominee is to be evaluated; and
  6. Supporting Documentation--three letters of support, as well as any other form of documentation. Letters should be solicited and addressed to the nominator.

Nominations Due: All nominations should be received no later than November 16, 2007.

Submissions: Two copies of the completed nomination forms and any supporting documentation should be to:

Chairman, ISMR,
RR#2 Box 129,
Jasonville, IN 47438

Nomination Format: Typed on 8 ½ x 11 paper, double-spaced.

Indiana Excellence in Mining and Reclamation Award

This is the Division of Reclamation’s highest award for outstanding achievement in the field of surface coal mining and reclamation.

Former recipients of the Indiana EMRA have received national recognition as a result of participation in awards programs administered by the Office of Surface Mining and the Interstate Mining Compact Commission.

We are very proud of the mining and reclamation operations here in Indiana and the EMRA program is one way for us to recognize your efforts and to reveal your successes to the rest of the state and the nation.

Who is Eligible for the EMRA?

All surface and underground coal mining operations which have operated under an Indiana permit issued according to IC 14-34 are eligible to be considered for the EMRA. The operator's exemplary performance may be achieved during mining activity, reclamation, or throughout the entire process.

How to Nominate a Coal Mining Operation

Nominations may be submitted by coal companies, mine operators, inspectors, consultants, coal associations, public interest groups, or land owners.

Nominations must be received by the Division of Reclamation on or before Thursday, November 1, 2007 and should be mailed or delivered in person to the following address:

Division of Reclamation
Attn: EMRA Selection Committee
RR#2 Box 129
Jasonville, IN 47438

What a Nomination Should Include

A. Cover sheet containing:

  1. Company name.
  2. Name and location of the nominated mining operation (including driving directions).
  3. Permit number(s) of site being nominated.
  4. Name, address, phone number, (and E-mail address if available) of person submitting nomination (and/or a company contact person).
  5. Names and titles of all individuals directly responsible for on-the-ground reclamation at the nominated site.

B. Narrative: A description of the specific reclamation or environmental control techniques that resulted in exemplary performance under the Surface Mining Law. The narrative should be comprehensive; but not exceed six single-spaced typewritten pages and should describe the mining operation and the specific activity nominated for an award using the following outline:

  1. Brief history/background of the mining and reclamation.
  2. Description of the nominated activity or reclamation practice, including specific problems, solutions, and unusual circumstances.
  3. On-site effectiveness of the work. This should be documented and quantified with data. For example, successful handling of acid materials could be shown with water quality sampling data.
  4. Transferability or value of the accomplishment(s) to other mining and reclamation operations.
  5. Long-term benefits to the landowner and local or regional community.

C. Color photographs (not slides): The photos should show both the specific activity and the surrounding reclamation. When examined with the narrative description, the photographs should provide a clear understanding of the exemplary accomplishments. Photographs should be 8" x 10" or smaller, and labeled to explain what the photo shows. "Before and after" photos are desirable, but not required. There is no limit to the number of photographs that may be submitted.

D. Format: Each nomination package must contain the required information (described above) in a three-ring, loose-leaf binder, plus six high-quality, stapled machine copies (e.g., Xerox) for use by the judges. Additional supporting information may be submitted with the nomination; however, it must be separate from the information described above.

Nominations submitted by persons not directly associated with the coal company may not necessarily contain all the above-requested information simply because it may not be available. For nominations of this type, the EMRA Selection Committee will contact the coal company for assistance in preparing the formal nomination packet.

How the EMRA will be Selected

All nominations will be screened by the EMRA Selection Committee and an on-site visit will be made of each nominated site to assure the following:

  1. Information contained in the nomination package accurately reflects current site conditions.
  2. On-the-ground performance conforms with the permit.
  3. Other mining and reclamation activities at the site do not detract from the award-winning activity.

Each nominee's compliance record will be examined to assure that there are no outstanding violations and to determine that there is no past record of poor cooperation in abating violations.

The EMRA Selection Committee will conduct a technical evaluation of each nomination and assess a ranking for each nomination based upon the following criteria:

CRITERIA AND MAXIMUM POINTS
Clarity and completeness of nomination package 5
Difficulty in achieving reclamation under existing conditions 20
On-site effectiveness 30
Transferability of the technique or practice 12
Increased public awareness of the Surface Mining Law 8
Long term benefits to the community 15
Exceeds the spirit and intent of the Surface Mining Law
10

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