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Castle Valley companies dominate 2006 Earth Day award recipients

Utah's oil, gas and mining board plans to present 2006 Earth Day awards to several Castle Valley companies.

In fact, Carbon and Emery counties dominate the list of award recipients.

"It is a popular misconception that oil, gas and mining companies are enemies of the environment," pointed out Jim Peacock, board chairman. "The fact is extractive industries have matured as society has changed, and industry has embraced the notion of environmental stewardship."

The Utah board of oil, gas and mining will present 2006 earth day awards to six mining operations, a construction company and an energy education foundation.

The awards ceremony is slated April 26 in the auditorium of the department of natural resources, 1594 West North Temple in Salt Lake.

The presentations will begin at 9 a.m.

The board of oil, gas and mining earth day awards recognize companies, organizations and individuals who exceed regulatory requirements in protecting the environment while providing essential natural resources, according to the state agency.

"Industry expends a tremendous amount of time, money and resources to protect the environment while in pursuit of natural resources," stressed Peacock. "And when operations cease, money and resources are expended to restore the land to pre-extractive uses."

The oil, gas and mining board will present awards to: the following:

•The National Energy Foundation.

The foundation is being recognized for continued excellence in providing educational programs related to the environment, mining, natural resources and energy.

•Canyon Fuel's Skyline mine.

Skyline is being recognized for providing assistance in the form of laboratory gas analysis to the Utah reclamation program's efforts to research an underground fire in an abandoned mine in Carbon County.

•Canyon Fuel's SUFCO mine.

SUFCO is being recognized for voluntarily participating in a cooperative project for sage-grouse habitat improvement with the Manti LaSal National Forest.

•Energy West Mining Company.

Energy West is being recognized for outstanding final reclamation and site restoration of the company's Des-Bee-Dove mines in Emery County.

•Plateau Mining.

The Plateau corporation is being recognized for outstanding final reclamation and site restoration at Star Point mine in Carbon County.

•Barrick Gold of North America Inc.

Barrick is being recognized for voluntarily reclaiming an area of subsidence at a formerly mined property near Moab.

Barrick is also being recognized for providing financial assistance to the Utah reclamation program to seal abandoned mines at the Mercur site and Ophir Canyon project area.

•Simplot Phosphate.

Simplot is being recognized for continued efforts to educate the public about mining, reclamation and post-mining land use at the company's facility in Uintah County.

•Nielson Construction.

Nielson Construction is being recognized for setting a standard of excellence in numerous mine reclamation projects that other operators and contractors seek to emulate.

The earth day awards program started in 1991.

During the last 15 years, more than 100 nominations have been reviewed by the board and more than 70 awards have been presented.

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