Department of Environmental Conservation

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Every mine must be reclaimed at the end of its productive life and the Department holds significant financial security to ensure that reclamation occurs. The Department also encourages concurrent reclamation as a means to minimize potential negative environmental impacts and to return lands affected by mining back to other productive uses. The permittee benefits from conducting concurrent reclamation in the form of reduced financial security and lower annual regulatory fees. Examples of significant reclamation projects for 2014 include:

Concurrent Reclamation - Region 6: Burton F. Clark-Boss Mine

Town of Winfield, Herkimer County (60495)

Burton F. Clark has actively pursued a course of concurrent reclamation at the Boss Mine over several years. The company has now reclaimed 9.6 acres of the 33-acre life-of-mine, with 6.1 acres released in June 2014. The department encourages concurrent reclamation as a means of minimizing the potential environmental impacts of mining, as well as reducing the permittee's reclamation financial security and regulatory fees.

Burton F Clark Mine
A view of the north side of the Boss Mine looking west showing an area
concurrently reclaimed with active mining at the site.

Final Reclamation - Region 3: Carole Equipment Co. - Rt 17M Sand & Gravel Site

Town of Goshen, Orange County (30414)

The final reclamation inspection of the sand and gravel mining site was conducted in October of 2014 and the reclamation was approved. Final reclamation resulted in 5 acres of open space (meadowland) and a 1-acre parking area.

excavation area of the carole equipment mine during active operations
The excavation area of the Carol Equipment mine during active operations
excavation area for the carole equipment mine during reclamation
and during reclamation.

Final Reclamation - Region 4: Town of Bethlehem-Rowe Farm Clay Mine

Town of Bethlehem, Albany County (40488)

Final reclamation of the 19-acre mine was completed in June 2014. The Town of Bethlehem has indicated the possibility of using the reclaimed site for installation of a field of solar photovoltaic panels to provide energy for municipal use.

rowe farm clay mine at the time of final release
The Rowe Farm Clay Mine at the time of final reclamation release.

Final Reclamation - Region 5: Town of Newcomb-Shampeny Mine

Town of Newcomb, Essex County (50422)

Final reclamation of the Shampeny Mine was approved on June 27, 2014, with the acceptance of the remaining 3 affected acres of the original 11-acre life of mine. The 3 acres were graded in 2012 and seeded in 2013. It took time for sufficient vegetative growth to become established due to limited topsoil resources available at the site.

Shampeny Mine at the time of final reclamation
A view of the Shampeny Mine at the time of final reclamation in June 2014.

Final Reclamation - Region 7: Still Meadow Nursery-Scholte Mine #3

Town of Sennett, Cayuga County (70805)

In October of 2014, Mined Land staff approved final reclamation at the Scholte #3 sand and gravel mine that historically had offsite runoff issues. The operator reclaimed 7.8 acres of a 13-acre life of mine to convert the site to agriculture land that matches the surrounding area. Portions of previously mined areas were planted and harvested of corn, while the remaining area was planted with a cover crop.

Reclaimed Scholte #3 mine
The Scholte #3 Mine at the time of reclamation. The erosion-prone areas
in the background have been stabilized with a cover crop and reclamation
of the mine has been completed.

New York Hosts the 42nd Annual National Association of State Land Reclamationists (NASLR) Conference

The Department hosted the NASLR conference in Newburgh, New York on September 15-17, 2014. Two days of technical talks and discussions were followed by a one day field trip highlighting award winning mine reclamation in New York, including the Frozen Roped Baseball Company and the Maya Lin-designed Wavefield land sculpture at the Storm King Art Center. Other stops included innovative, concurrent quarry bench reclamation at the Thalle Fishkill Quarry, and the Walkway over the Hudson Historic Park. While the majority of the attendees were from eastern states, state land reclamationists from as far away as Alaska and Arkansas were present. The presentations and field trip were well received, and New York received several compliments on our hosting of the event.

NASLR advocates the use of research, innovative technology and professional discourse to foster the restoration of lands and waters affected by mining related activities.

On-site discussion lead by Reclamation Specialist
Region 3 Mined Land Reclamation Specialist Halina Duda discusses
the reclamation and construction of the Maya Lin-designed Storm
King Wavefield during the NASLR fieldtrip.
mining and reclamation at the same time on a site
Another stop on the NASLR field trip featuring concurrent reclamation
of benches at the Thalle Industries Fishkill Quarry. Active mining continues
to the left of the photo while the benches are reclaimed. The older benches
are higher and have better established vegetation than the younger,
lower benches.

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