An award for the Public Service Commission’s Abandoned Mine Lands program.
The federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement has given the PSC its “Small Project Award” for a drilling and grouting project at the Halleck Mine, five miles north of Bowman.
The Halleck Mine was an underground mine, that was in operation between 1919 and 1944.
"The coal seam there was 30 to 40 feet thick, with only 10 to 50 feet of overburden," Commissioner Randy Christmann said. "So, obviously, that is going to cause sinkholes over time."
Christmann said the sinkholes became common in the area, and affected public roads and anatural gas pipeline.
"That was a big key in this," Christmann said.
The mine was filled in with grout.
PSC chairman Julie Fedorchak said it’s a great example of a public-private partnership.
"We oversee it, and provide some additional jobs for the private sector," Fedorchak said. "In the end, we have a much safer environment."
Fedorchak said the AML program helps take care of issues created by the underground mining, that predates the modern strip mining.
The award will formally be presented to the PSC in September.