(Wyoming Business Report, October 9) – Cloud Peak Energy Inc. , one of the largest U.S. coal producers and the only pure-play Powder River Basin (PRB) coal company, has provided an update on its award-winning reclamation and environmental programs for its surface mining operations.
The company’s Cordero Rojo Mine, located in northeastern Wyoming, recently received approval for final, phase three bond release on more than 900 acres of permanently reclaimed land from the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality. Cloud Peak Energy currently has more than 10,000 acres being reclaimed across its three mines to a condition as good as, or better than, pre-mining in compliance with rigorous federal and state standards.
In Wyoming, there are three phases of reclamation bond release that take many years to complete. Lands must be reclaimed for a minimum of ten years before the third and final bond release can be granted. To achieve final bond release, Cordero Rojo’s reclaimed lands were restored to grazing and wildlife uses and have been actively grazed in partnership with adjacent landowners. The bond release process is extensive, requiring the successful completion of a number of verifications such as topography, water quality, soils suitability, vegetation quality and diversity and wildlife use. Attaining final bond release is the ultimate demonstration of successful completion of land rehabilitation requirements.
“Unlike some other sources of energy, our surface mining is a temporary use of the land, and we are proud to have met the state’s significant requirements for the final phase of reclamation to receive full bond release for this acreage,” said Joe Vaccari, Cordero Rojo Mine general manager. “This area is being returned as good as, if not better than, before mining began here, which is a testament to our commitment to strong environmental stewardship.”
In 2013, Cloud Peak Energy shipped 86.0 million tons from its three mines to customers located throughout the U.S. and around the world. Cloud Peak Energy is a sustainable fuel supplier for approximately four percent of the nation’s electricity.