Department for Natural Resources
Division of Abandoned Mine Lands Announces
The Department for Natural Resources’ Division of Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) announced commencement of the River Queen Slurry AML Enhancement Rule Reclamation Project in Muhlenberg County. The dedication ceremony, hosted by Covol Fuels No.2, LLC, was held March 16 at the Wendell H. Ford Regional Training Center near Greenville.
Centrally located at the Wendell H. Ford Regional Training Center, a military installation managed by the Kentucky Department of Military Affairs, the project consists of two distinct areas of proposed reclamation, totaling approximately 281 acres. Covol Fuels No. 2, LLC will remove and reclaim coal refuse under an agreement with AML. Both sites are former coal refuse disposal areas that have been covered with earthen material. Acid mine drainage leaching from the slurry is a contributor to water pollution in the area. Receiving stream water quality will be monitored prior to, and during, the reclamation activities. Previously mined coal will be reprocessed and the water quality of nearby Cypress Creek will be improved. Upon completion of this project, the reclaimed land will be a more suitable training ground for military maneuvers. These improvements distinguish this as a winning project for the Kentucky National Guard, the commonwealth of Kentucky, and the citizens of the Muhlenberg County community.
According to State Command Sergeant Major Gregory D. Armstrong of the Ford Training Center, AML and the Kentucky Department of Military Affairs have worked together to help identify, cleanup and reclaim coal refuse on the military reservation since the early 1980s. “Over the last few years, technology has been developed to recycle and recover the carbon products left behind. Through aggressive construction and land acquisition from Peabody Coal Corporation, the Wendell Ford Training Center is now capable of supporting two army battalions simultaneously with state of the art facilities utilizing over 11,500 acres of post-mined land,” the State Command Sergeant Major said.
"This joint project is another example of DNR's commitment to solve environmental and energy problems by creatively partnering with agencies who share our goals," added Commissioner Carl Campbell.
The Ford Training Center is recognized as the leading mechanized infantry and armor maneuver training area east of the Mississippi River, providing effective and cost-efficient training facilities for National Guard, Reserve and active component units from every branch of service.
The Division of Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) is authorized under KRS 350 to abate hazards to public health, safety, and the environment from abandoned coal mines. The Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) program is a 100% federally funded, state implemented program.