The East Diamond project site was an abandoned coal processing facility located on the east side of the city of Madisonville. The area covered 150 acres and contained approximately 3 million cubic yards of acidic coal refuse and slurry. It was a significant source of sediment and acid mine drainage that flowed into Flat Creek and caused negative impacts to the White City Wildlife Management Area.
The Division of Abandoned Mined Lands (AML) estimated the cost to reclaim East Diamond through the normal AML program to be $4.5 million, far too costly to undertake with the available funds. The Natural Resources Cabinet, through AML, entered an agreement in July 1997 with Hopkins County Coal to dispose of the gob and slurry in an active mining permit. As part of that agreement, Kentucky entered into a contract with the mining company to reimburse them up to $535,000 for the refuse and slurry removal. This unique agreement saved the Kentucky AML program approximately $4 million.
Additionally, Kentucky was awarded $100,000 in Appalachian Clean Stream funds from the federal government to help pay the cost of reclaiming the East Diamond site. Hopkins County Coal was required to post a regular reclamation bond for the mining permit, and a regular payment and performance bond for the contract. A supplemental AML bond to the division was also required.
Hopkins County Coal began working on the project in the summer of 1998 and completed mining on the site in the summer of 2003. All coal refuse and slurry formerly on the site was buried in the mining pit or reprocessed.