Chaney Enterprises has announced that it has been selected as the recipient of the 2004 Maryland Department of the Environment Reclamation Award, as well as the 2004 Interstate Mining Compact Commission (IMCC) national reclamation award for the noncoal category.
This honor is presented each year to mining operations in the coal and non-coal categories that have demonstrated excellence in reclamation based on achievement in five categories: compliance; contemporaneous reclamation; drainage control; bond release (or reclamation success); and innovativeness.
Chaney Enterprises award-winning reclamation site, known as the Mardis site, is located on the banks of the Patuxent River in southern Anne Arundel County, MD. Mining at the Mardis Pit began in the 1950s and continued until 1999, at which time site reclamation began.
During the course of the 50 year mining history, 347 acres (140 ha) were mined for sand and gravel. The raw materials were processed at two on-site wash plants before being shipped to market.
Because of the proximity to the Patuxent River, Chaney had to be especially sensitive to all natural resources in the area. A berm was constructed along the edge of the permit area adjacent to the river and over the years developed natural growth patterns. Chaney Enterprises preserved these patterns, preventing any disturbance in the sensitive areas. Several sediment traps and ponds were restored to encourage development of non-tidal wetlands and several of these water-bearing areas were incorporated into the post-mining land use.
The site was reclaimed as a world-class replica golf course, known as Renditions Golf Grand Slam Experience, designed by Dave Edsall, golf course architect. Turning the previously mined site into a high-end golf course presented several challenges for Chaney Enterprises during the reclamation process, including dismantling the large wash ponds, a portion of which were turned into a storm water management facility.
This was accomplished by combining the 25-ft. (7 cu m) deep soupy fine clays in the ponds with crushed cinder blocks from the dismantled maintenance building in order to stabilize the area. All other wash ponds, which had dried out over years of non-use, were capped with clean fill materials and the area was graded for use as a driving range.
All remaining stockpiles of sand were utilized in grading the site to achieve the elevations for each golf hole.
The only material brought onto the site to complete this reclamation was a specific grade of top soil that was required by the United States Golf Association for tees and greens.
In addition to the innovative use of on-site materials that might have been considered waste and the incorporation of existing sediment control features as part of the golf course design, Chaney also relocated several trees on the property rather than simply cutting them down.
The golf course now provides an open space area and vegetated buffers for the Patuxent River, while providing and protecting a significant wooded wetland area.