WDEQ presents Wyoming coal reclamation award to Peabody

Land Quality Division
Published: Sept. 18, 2020

Dragline and coal loading at the North Antelope Rochelle Mine. Courtesy: Peabody


CHEYENNE – The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (WDEQ) recently awarded the 2020 Excellence in Mining Reclamation Award for coal to Peabody Powder River Mining LLC regarding its management practices related to the successful revegetation the North Antelope Rochelle Mine near Wright.

WDEQ gives the Excellence in Mining Reclamation Awards to Wyoming coal and noncoal mine operators who demonstrate an achievement in a specific aspect of mine reclamation or for overall performance in meeting reclamation goals.

In 2019, the WDEQ’s Land Quality Division approved the completed reclamation and revegetation of more than 3,700 acres at the mine to make a mine-wide total of nearly 12,700 reclaimed acres returned to livestock grazing and wildlife use.

Matthew Kunze, a WDEQ geology supervisor, said, “The revegetation practices are predicted to result in long-term benefits, so the reclaimed lands can successively be used for grazing and wildlife as part of the post-mine land use.”

Peabody representatives attributed the revegetation success to strong reclamation and management strategies, including grazing, weed control, interseeding, and mowing.

Scott Durgin, vice president of operations at the North Antelope Rochelle Mine, said, “At Peabody, we have long been committed to restoring the land for generations that follow and are pleased to have received recognition for our successes on that front.”

He added, “I am very proud of the team at NARM for the continued work and management practices that restore the land for generations that follow.”

The North Antelope Rochelle Mine produced more than 85 million tons of coal in 2019 and employs more than 1,200 individuals. 

Cattle grazing on reclaimed land at the North Antelope Rochelle Mine. Courtesy: Peabody