A Creative Approach to Reclaiming Abandoned Strip Mines

Executive Summary

Engineers are often tasked with solving difficult problems with limited time and budgets. This technical brief provides an overview of how a team of engineers collaborated to find the optimum solution to reclaim and compact the soils of a strip mining site for re-use as in developing a new gas processing  plant in Eastern Ohio. The engineers performed environmental and geotechnical studies and considered the client’s future needs in developing a unique site preparation process to treat the deep mining spoils that were unsuitable for construction. The evaluation process, the alternatives considered, and the final solution are discussed.


JKE2.jpgThe EPA estimates that more than 500,000 abandoned mine sites are located throughout the United States. Redevelopment provides an opportunity to turn these sites into beneficial uses. The abandoned strip mining sites in north eastern United States can be good locations for large industrial such as natural gas processing plants, storage yards and warehouse or distribution projects. The environmental impact of developing these sites is minimal as they have already been impacted by the strip mining operations.

Site development challenges in reclaimed strip mines include:

  • Uncontrolled strip mine spoils up to 100 feet deep that prohibit the use of traditional building and pad foundations
  • Mine fill laden with boulders which presented another unique set of problems
  • Compressed construction schedules to meet client needs and weather windows.
  • Variable facility requirements for different areas of the site development; foundations, vehicular traffic, parking, storage and support services

In addition to the physical site challenges, energy companies often face an extremely competitive market where speed-to-market and timing are critical to financial success. This speed-to-market often leads to the design and build schedules overlapping which further complicate the site development by requiring the site development team to be flexible and adjust to changing designs concurrently with site development activities.

Solution Requirements

The primary geotechnical objective was to develop a solution that mitigated settlement risk to the proposed structures but the site solution also required the following critically important considerations:

  1. Flexibility for unknown subsurface conditions
  2. Overlapping design and site preparation schedules
  3. Flexibility for modifying the plant layout
  4. Risk and dependability of the foundation system
  5. Cost parameters

Due to the fast-track nature of the project, the Joe Knows Energy team was working only with a general plant layout which could and did change during mass grading and site preparation.

Design Process

The Joe Knows Energy design team consisted of civil, geotechnical and environmental engineers, contractors and site developers working collaboratively to develop a strategic approach to address the physical site conditions, an aggressive construction schedule and design requirements that were yet to be defined.

Members of the Joe Knows Energy design team were selected based on previous experiences working together. Team members had demonstrated a high level of trust in one another, an affinity for working collaboratively, the ability to provide continuous communication on their respective responsibilities and a willingness to provide direct and timely feedback to teammates.

This collaborative and coordinated approach resulted in measurable benefits to the project including:

  • Costly mistakes were avoided
  • Demonstration foundation alternative tested on-site
  • Sequencing work to accommodate concurrent design and construction
  • Adjusting the design as more factors became known

The design solution to strengthen the existing loose mining fills was developed in the following stages:

  1. Site research and preliminary borings
  2. Clarification of design requirements and decision factors
  3. Geotechnical evaluation, cost comparisons and schedule assessment
  4. Solution selection
  5. Review of outcomes and results


The Joe Knows Energy design team working collaboratively with the client to produce significant and measurable benefits including:

  • Selection of Deep Dynamic Compaction as the most viable and cost-effective method to address redevelopment of abandoned strip mine sites
  • Specifically focused on ensure that provides proper site preparation and structure support was created that met the clients facility needs
  • Adjustments in the site elevation and plant footprint occurred without disruption to the design process and allowed the elevation of the site to achieve dirt balance while considering a larger plant footprint and the shrinkage of soil due to DDC operations
  • Site redevelopment occurred within 14 weeks while design of the facility was being completed
  • JKE3.jpgMany design changes occurred but costly mistakes such as performing foundation preparation in areas that ultimately did not need it were avoided due to the team’s continuous communication
  • The project team sharing progress and design direction on a frequent basis which allowed for some areas of the site preparation work to be delayed while the impact of design alternatives were more thoroughly considered
  • Alternative design solutions in the tower/vertical constructionareas and other deep foundations included excavating to the depths of the foundations and
    performing the deep dynamic compaction at those elevations.

About Joe Knows Energy

America has been given a great gift; the natural resources to provide the fuel for its growth with the Oil and Gas Utica Shale Play in Ohio. Joe Knows Energy wants to help America “Do it Right”!  Joe Knows Energy is passionate about Building America’s Future by helping Oil and Gas Companies with needs associated with Project Management, Logistics, Applied Technologies, and more.

We help the Energy Industry harvest this God given gift by providing Infrastructure and Site Solutions and doing it the right way! Over the past year our “Team of Joe’s” has helped industry mitigate its top concerns and fears:

  • Accidents- Safety has to be #1 to make sure everyone gets home safe every night!
  • Delays- Regulations need to be managed
  • Surprises- Resources need to be available

At Joe Knows Energy we believe it starts with Leadership that is focused all on doing it the right way. Followed closely by having the right team of hard working “Joes” that are easy to work with, knowledgeable, and solution oriented. Resulting in a team that is Safe, Responsive, Scalable and Easy to Use which ultimately drives positive financial impacts for everyone involved

Joe Knows Energy might not be a fit for everyone; but for those who we do fit – We would Love to Help You Build Yours’ and America’s Future!  Joe Knows Energy provides comprehensive infrastructure and site solutions, project management, logistics and applied technologies for oil and gas energy companies throughout the Midwest.


Tom.jpg?resize=75%2C95Tom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW


A group called Rising Tide North America is behind some DAPL vandals. Both the Tides Foundation and the Levinson Foundation are in the background paying.

The Argus Leader carried a remarkable story the other day about two Dakota Access Pipeline or DAPL vandals who were arrested for sabotaging the pipeline by using oxy-aceytlene cutting torches to cut through steel valves. The two perpetrators, both Iowa women, were quite proud of their dirty work, self-empowered by a naive sense of moral superiority (mother’s milk to all useful idiots) and what can only be described as the arrogance of indignant high schoolers. It tells us a lot about what motivates these radicals and none of it’s good. Even worse are those who fund and manipulate them.



Two DAPL vandals being arrested (from Argus Leader)

Here are the basics from the Argus Leader (emphasis added):

Two women who admitted to vandalizing the Dakota Access Pipeline during a press conference in Iowa on Monday are also suspects in pipeline incidents in South Dakota, authorities said Tuesday.

Des Moines residents Jessica Reznicek, 35, and Ruby Montoya, 27, were taken into custody Monday in Polk County, Iowa as they pried letters from an Iowa Utilities Board sign.

The duo read a statement claiming responsibility for acts of pipeline sabotage incidents along the route, which runs from the Bakken oil patch in North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois.

Montoya said she and Reznicek used oxy-acetylene cutting torches to cut through steel valves, starting in Mahaska County, Iowa.

“After the success of this peaceful action, we began to use this tactic up and down the pipeline, throughout Iowa (and a part of South Dakota), moving from valve to valve until running out of supplies, and continuing to stop the completion of this project,” Montoya said…

Alex Cohen of the Earth Defense Coalition, a spokesman for Montoya and Reznicek, said the women were still in custody as of Tuesday afternoon and that they haven’t been charged with offenses beyond a misdemeanor for damage to the Iowa Utilities Board sign.

“Since their statement, there haven’t been any additional charges, but they’re definitely expecting some,” Cohen said.

Cohen said the women plan to represent themselves in court.

Montoya and Reznicek are part of the Catholic Workers Movement, and they said Monday that their actions were meant as a nonviolent response to unresponsive regulators, elected officials and media.

They said they began to vandalize pipeline sites shortly after Election Day, setting fire to construction equipment.

They continued to hone their skills, targeting valves along the pipeline route. They encouraged others to follow their lead during their press conference Monday.

“We feel we have nothing to be ashamed of,” Montoya said. “For some reason the courts and ruling government value corporate property over our inherent human rights to clean water and land.”

The shallow infantile reasoning of these two speaks for itself. I suspect most readers will share my view that appropriate punishment is something on the order of 10 years hard labor cutting firewood with handsaws to keep themselves warm. Nonetheless, I am far less concerned with these two self-righteous malcontents than those behind them; the people encouraging them and other DAPL vandals and sponsoring similar acts of sabotage against other pipelines.

Nearly every such act is aided and abetted by the moral and financial support of others who go to great lengths to hide their involvement. Take, for example, the spokesperson for  these two DAPL vandals; a fellow named Alex Cohen of the Earth Defense Coalition. If you go to this organization’s website and its About page, you’ll learn next to nothing about them other than the fact they are profoundly radical. The Home page says this:

If you’re Not Resisting…

(To the best of your human ability)

Then You’re Liable For…

(Systemic racialized injustice, depletion of finite resources, dehumanization of indigenous peoples by corporations, and ever-worsening climate change & extinction events)

Watching The World Burn


Not a lot here either other than a window into the souls of those who want the world as we know it to burn so they can rebuild it in their own image. The Contact Us page, though, is one place on the website offering a bit of transparency; it provides a phone number for Alex. Google that number (314-971-6304) and you quickly learn both Alex Cohen and Ruby Montoya (one of the two DAPL vandals arrested) are listed as contacts for another amorphous radical group known as Rising Tide North America.  The Earth Defense Coalition appears to be little more than one of a collection of aliases used by Rising Tide; a tactic common with fractivists and other radicals

Rising Tide says it does “direct action…to confront the root causes of climate change…out of the conviction that corporate-friendly ‘solutions’ to climate change will not save us and that most government efforts are half-measures at best.” We know what that means, of course, and it’s anything but peaceful or non-violent, as they would have the naive believe. The DAPL vandals were simply pursuing that mission.

Rising Tide also claims to have an EIN number for purposes of helping other groups secure tax-exempt donations, but there is no organization of that name listed on Guidestar, for example, where virtually every such entity can normally be found. Further searching, though, revealed this:

Recently RTNA received a grant from the Max and Anna Levinson Foundation to redistribute the funds to grassroots groups working within the climate justice and climate movements.  Rising Tide decided that the best way to do this was to open an application process for Rising Tide network groups and frontline community members to directly ask for microgrants to fund local, regional, or national projects. Providing  “no strings attached” funding is one of the needed elements of empowering local communities to develop fights that reflect their needs and issues, as well as helping to provide a foundation for local  direct action organizations and frontline voices.

The Levinson Foundation, in other words, is giving Rising Tide North America “no strings attached” money to finance more DAPL vandals. Except for its radicalism, it is, like its grantees, anything but transparent, a fact noted by Inside Philanthropy. A review of its latest 990 return (fiscal year ending May 31, 2014) indicates a $30,000 payout to an entity listed as “Media Island Institute” at 268 Bush Street, San Francisco, for the “Rising Tide campaign.” The group actual name is Media Island International and it is a fiscal sponsor for radical groups such as Rising Tide North America; a pass-through entity for purposes of tax-exemption and another degree of separation for funders such as the Levinson Foundation.

The Levinson Foundation is thus spending yet another one family fortunes ways intended to assuage the guilt of subsequent generations for having done so undeservedly well as a result of their ancestor’s success. It is run by grandchildren of the man who made the fortune; Max Levinson. It is said he was a prominent Philadelphia businessman and the founder of the Merit Oil Company.

Such is the irony of so many fractivist campaigns. Like the Rockefeller, the latter Levinsons want to prove their worth and independence by demonstrating they possess superior values to the old man who made the money and they intend to do it by spending the money he left to charity on their own causes and in such way as to not impose on the pampered lifestyles he left them. Funding DAPL vandals simply follows the trust funder rulebook.

The Levinson Foundation is the only one doing it, either. The Tides Foundation 990 return for 2014 also shows a $40,771 grant to Rising Tide North America (through Media Island International) for “general support.” Tides, of course, is one of the vehicles used by Teresa Heinz Kerry to pass through money from her first husband’s fortune. It is, essentially, another money laundering group to finance activities such as those of the DAPL vandals. It is how fractivism is done. Trust fund money is behind every bit of it, passed down through layers of non-transparent organizations to the useful idiots who imagine it’s all their idea. Watch the short video below for an illustration of what the Levinson and Tides money has bought:


The post DAPL Vandals and the Trendy Elitists Who Coddle and Fund Them appeared first on Natural Gas Now.

Source: Natural Gas Now


Veolia, the world’s largest environmental company, is hosting a free one-day educational seminar on Water Treatment developed specifically for oil & gas producers, petrochemical plants and refiners in the Marcellus/Utica region.

Wednesday, November 8

8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh/Southpointe

1000 Corporate Drive

Canonsburg, Pennsylvania

Learn How Water Treatment Can Reduce Operational Costs and Limit Liabilities

The program will include case studies of water treatment facilities in the Marcellus/Utica region with a deep dive into the technologies that make them economical, reliable and sustainable solutions.  Benefits of better water management, as described in these case studies, are:

> Minimizing trucking, reinjection and disposal costs

> Creating discharge-quality water for reuse

> Lowering operational costs for upstream & downstream activities

> Compliance with difficult-to-achieve limitations for constituents such as TDS and selenium

Recent projects will be discussed from design concept development and cost consideration to full-scale implementation. Our water treatment experts will also share the latest advancements in water treatment technologies.

Specific agenda topics will include:

> Produced water treatment from start to finish

> Byproduct recovery from produced water

> Supply water for a cracker plant

> Refinery wastewater treatment for reuse

> Retrofit solutions for biological treatment

> And more!

Click here to register!

This event may qualify for Continuing Education credits.


Saudi Arabia said it will cut crude oil exports in November by 560,000 barrels per day as the country makes good on its pledge to help rein in a global supply glut, an oil ministry spokesman said on Oct. 9.

The cut is in line with the kingdom’s commitment to an OPEC-led supply reduction under which Riyadh is required to slash 486,000 bpd.

“Despite very strong demand from international waterborne customers at more than 7.711 million bbl/d, they were allocated only 7.150 million bbl/d,” the spokesman said in a statement.

Source: Daily Dose of ShaleDirectories.com News