The Interstate Mining Compact Commission is recognizing two Wyoming mines for their reclamation efforts. The IMCC represents environmental protection interests and awards one non-coal and one coal project each year. The M-I SWACO Bentonite Mine in Big Horn County won the non-coal award and the Bridger Coal Mine received honorable mention in the coal category.
Department of Environmental Quality spokesman, Keith Guille, says the IMCC only gives two awards each year and it’s significant that Wyoming was recognized for both.
“One of the biggest challenges in Wyoming when you’re reclaiming is certainly that we live in a dry climate with little moisture. So it proves difficult reclaiming these lands and regrowing vegetation. That’s pretty significant when they’re able to reclaim these lands above and beyond how they found them,” says Guille.
The bentonite mine’s application for the award said the company was exploring innovative approaches to address the control of invasive species, re-assessing the company’s reclamation procedures, and fostering relationships with regulatory agencies. The company says they went beyond state and federal mining and reclamation requirements.