DEQ Honors Mining Industry in Wyoming
By Kimberly Mazza
CHEYENNE – Today, December 6 is National Miner’s Day 2022. As one of Wyoming’s founding industries and historically rooted in the state’s culture and economy, the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) would like to honor our Wyoming miners and acknowledge the continued impact of Wyoming’s mining history on DEQ’s work.
National Miner’s Day marks the anniversary of the worst mining accident in history on December 6, 1907, in Monogah, West Virginia. The disaster resulted in the deaths of at least 362 West Virginia coal miners in a catastrophic explosion. In 2009, Congress proclaimed the day be observed each year on December 6th.
Recognizing this day each year, offers a time to show appreciation to the mining country’s hard-working individuals and honor the contributions and sacrifices of miners across the country. It is also a day to mention some of the successful work of the DEQ’s Land Quality Division and the Abandoned Mine Land Division.
The DEQ’s Land Quality Division (LQD) thanks the men and women in Wyoming for their dedication, hard work, and safety practices that makes the state a principle producer of needed minerals for our country at over 700 mine operations across the state. The LQD also thanks these industries for their world class reclamation at Wyoming mining operations. “Nobody does all aspects of mining better in the world than Wyoming miners,” notes LQD Administrator Kyle Wendtland.
Prior to 1977 when legislation began requiring companies to reclaim their mines, many abandoned their mines. DEQ’s Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Division manages the reclamation and safety of these sites and has had several outstanding accomplishments.
This year, the DEQ’s AML Division was presented the prestigious Western Reclamation Award from the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement for their work at Hanna Elementary School and the adjacent high school football field and track in Carbon County, Wyoming.
You can read more about the LQD’s work and AML’s projects on the DEQ’s website.