Annual Employee Achievement Award – 2017

Coal Program Hydrologist Keenan Storrar received the 2017 Oil, Gas and Mining Achievement Award. In his two years plus with the Division, Keenan has developed into an exemplary employee. He has steadily expanded his knowledge and expertise in not only the Surface Mining Control Reclamation Act (SMCRA) and its application to the Division, but also the processes and rules of other state and federal regulatory agencies with whom he interacts.

Keenan routinely initiates projects on his own with minimal oversight. For example, Keenan has initiated a joint project with OSM and PacifiCorp to utilize LIDAR technology in evaluating the effectiveness of reclamation technique called ‘pocking’ or sometimes referred to as ‘deep gouging.’ It is a reclamation technique that is primarily utilized in the arid southwest and has been successfully implemented at several coal mine reclamation sites.

However, little to any scientific work has been done nationwide to quantify and examine the effectiveness of this technique. Keenan is working towards obtaining precise sedimentation data by utilizing LIDAR technology in concert with OSM and PacifiCorp at the Cottonwood/Wilberg Mine in Emery County. The reclamation of the mine began this month. In obtaining this data, Keenan is at the forefront of advancing the understanding and application of pocking as a reclamation technique and its effectiveness to control erosion on steep, reclaimed slopes in arid, semi-arid environments. Its work that the Division will take immense pride in in the years to come as this reclamation technique can be utilized in all manner of slope stabilization applications from hard rock mining, to highway projects to general construction, etc.

Keenan is a genuine asset to the Division. His rapport with his colleagues, co-workers and coal operators is genuine and one of mutual respect. Keenan is well-deserving of the award as he continues to go above and beyond on a daily basis.