Compass Minerals Named Environmental Leader of the Year
Compass Minerals received additional recognition for its work on the West Pond Sustainability Project and was awarded a Utah Governor’s Excellence in Energy Award and named the Environmental Leader of the Year. The company was presented with the award by Governor Gary R. Herbert at the Governor’s Utah Energy Development Summit.
The award recognizes companies, communities, non-profit organizations or individuals that distinguish themselves through energy practices that reduce impacts to the environment, including land, air, water, wildlife, etc. Compass Minerals’ Ogden site was honored for its conservation-oriented West Pond Sustainability Project and Reclamation Plan.
The West Pond Sustainability Project was developed to improve efficiency of the pond system by minimizing the volume of leakage of valuable concentrated brines. While improved pond efficiency has direct economic benefits to the company, it also results in a material reduction of the volume of brine consumed on an annual basis.
“Preservation of concentrated brine is important to our energy consumption, such as the fuel used to power the pumps, and creates greater efficiency in the time and resources invested into the acquisition and storage of the brine in evaporation ponds,” said Mark Reynolds, sulfate of potash operations manager, at Compass Minerals’ Ogden site.
Over the course of the project, Compass Minerals collaborated with various stakeholder groups and state and federal agencies to gain alignment, weave in sustainable development elements, and minimize impacts to the ecosystem of the Great Salt Lake.
“Collaboration on this project led to a design that substantially improves sustainability and plans for uses of post-extraction pond materials that will enhance avian use and habitat,” said Joe Havasi, director of natural resources with Compass Minerals. “We are fortunate to have aligned with so many groups on this project.”
During the design of the project, a sustainable plan was developed to restore ponded areas to productive and useful avian habitats. The revised reclamation plan will enable the restoration of an area within the Bear River Bay and Clyman Bay regions of the Great Salt Lake, while creating additional productive avian habitat.
“Through our collaboration with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and FRIENDS of Great Salt Lake, we developed a plan to provide for the development of more than 30 isolated nesting islands for shorebirds that will protect against predator access, while creating new habitat in the Great Salt Lake along a migratory bird flyaway of international importance,” said Havasi.
Compass Minerals was also honored with a 2016 “Earth Day Award” from the Board of Directors of Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining for the West Pond Sustainability Project. In addition, the Board selected Compass Minerals as the first recipient of a special award for noteworthy projects, “Best of the Best,” for exceptional environmental improvement work.
Pictured from left to right: Dr. Laura Nelson, Office of Energy Development; Joe Havasi, Compass Minerals; Mark Reynolds, Compass Minerals; Governor Gary R. Herbert.