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Engineering Excellence Grand Project Award
This very complex project included reclamation of extensive areas of toxic coal mine refuse, a large impoundment of extremely acidic water, and a continuous discharge of acid mine drainage (AMD) consisting of highly concentrated sulfuric acid from the large area of coal refuse. This drainage discharged directly into Barren Fork Creek resulting in fish kills for miles downstream for many years.
Reclamation included installation of a large anoxic limestone drain system and development of a huge wetland. These water control techniques eliminated the massive acidic discharges into Barren Fork Creek. Native warm season grasses were planted to provide better habitat on reclaimed refuse areas. The site is also part of a wildlife sanctuary and the selection of plant species and protection provided by island settings has induced migratory birds to use the area. This site has much higher potential for outdoor recreation use now that the environmental concerns have been removed.