Kentucky officials are honoring some coal companies for efforts to restore the land on former surface mine sites.
The state's Department of Natural Resources is awarding a 2012 Commissioner's Award of Excellence in Reclamation to Hopkins County Coal on Jan. 17 in Madisonville.
Other companies receiving the award this month were Xinergy Corp., for reclamation at a 273-acre site in Bell County; Laurel Mountain Resources for a 257-acre site in Martin County; and Deane Mining for a 127-acre site in Letcher County. The state says the Xinergy site was chosen as part of Kentucky's reintroduction of elk to the region.
Reclamation work at former surface mine sites is mandated by the federal Surface Mining and Reclamation Control Act of 1977.