ST. LOUIS, Dec. 20, 2012 - Peabody Energy's Midwest Environmental Specialist Dan Williamson has been awarded the 26th Vance "Pat" Wiram Award for career efforts advancing best practices for restoration of hardwood forests working collaboratively with regulators, academia and industry. The honor was presented by the Indiana Society of Mining and Reclamation.
Williamson, an industry veteran with more than 30 years of practice, has pioneered methods to increase tree survival on restored lands. These include restoring seedlings in loosely compacted soil, ensuring soil contours to capture moisture and nutrients and using proper vegetation to prevent competition. In recent years, he has worked with Purdue University to evaluate loose soil replacement techniques to enhance reforestation. His work is directly responsible for a half-dozen major awards in recent years for reclamation excellence in the areas of reforestation, wetlands and wildlife habitat from the state and the U.S. Department of the Interior.
"We are proud of Dan's leadership advancing a Peabody core value of environmental excellence," said Peabody President - Americas Kemal Williamson. "Peabody has a world-class team of environmental scientists and reclamation experts who are recognized globally for their innovation. We put these practices to use across our global platform."
Dan Williamson also served on the Kentucky Advisory Committee of the Forestry Reclamation Initiative that resulted in $5 million in grants to develop more than 3,000 acres of research plantings across the state of Kentucky. Ultimately the research areas extended from the West Virginia border on the east to the western edge of the western Kentucky coal field.
"This effort does not stop where it is today. Each step brings new potential of further options for more developments," said Dr. Donald Graves, retired Chairman for the University of Kentucky Department of Forestry, who supported Dan's efforts. "Already researchers have expanded their sphere of potential impact with newly initiated effort in the coal fields of Australia."
A key principle of Peabody's mission is to "leave the land in a condition equal to or better than before mining occurred." In practice, lands are often far more productive than native range. The company has earned nine major awards for environmental excellence this past year in the United States, Australia and Asia, which are among more than 30 awards for leadership in 2012.
Peabody Energy is the world's largest private-sector coal company and a global leader in sustainable mining and clean coal solutions. The company serves metallurgical and thermal coal customers in more than 25 countries on six continents. For further information, go to PeabodyEnergy.com and CoalCanDoThat.com.