DEQ meeting reclamation and bonding responsibilities

Land Quality Division
Published: Aug. 23, 2019

On August 14, 2019, the Wyoming Environmental Quality Council (EQC) reaffirmed that the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) appropriately handled a renewal permit application and reclamation bonding review.

In an appeal brought forth by the Powder River Basin Resource Council, the EQC found that DEQ complied with all Wyoming laws when processing the company's permit renewal application, which included Contura's reclamation bond. 

"FINDINGS OF FACT, CONCLUSIONS OF LAW, AND ORDER IN DOCKET NO. 18-4803"

The order states, "The Council finds and concludes that the Division properly processed and analyzed Contura's permit renewal application- the permit renewal application complied with the Laws of Wyoming. Contura's reclamation bond, including the real property collateral bond, assures that Contura will faithfully perform all requirements of the Wyoming Environmental Quality Act".

According to Kyle Wendtland, Land Quality Division (LQD) Administrator, this order reaffirms that the department and division correctly oversee mine permits, reclamation, and bonding requirements.   

"We are pleased the council agreed with our review and determination of the permit renewal," said Wendtland. "It's important the public know and have confidence in the leadership the Department has developed through decades of oversight of mining operations across the state."  

In a related action, the District Court, 1st judicial District, Laramie County, provided clarity on the disclosure of real property appraisal records and DEQ has complied with the Judge’s order.

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Land Quality Division Facts

Coal Mine Operations & Reclamation

Reclamation activities include overburden earthwork and grading, top-soiling, seeding, and final completion.

  • Total acres disturbed – 184,488
    Acres of long-term support facilities – 37,835
    Acres in active mining operations – 39,689
    Acres in all phases of reclamation – 106,964

 

Mine Permits

  • Total coal and non-coal permits – 690
     

Compliance and Inspections

  • Compliance rate for FY2018 – 99 percent
  • Total inspections in 2018 – 780