DEQ approves bond releases for coal mines

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HELENA – The Montana Department of Environmental Quality has approved completed reclamation work at four mine areas, totaling more than 1,400 acres of reclaimed mine land at the Rosebud and Big Sky Coal Mines located near Colstrip.

DEQ evaluated completed reclamation work including backfilling and grading of mined areas, soil replacement, and establishment of vegetation. The former mine lands are supporting sustained grazing and wildlife use and contain valuable permanent water features such as wetlands. In addition, a former Rosebud County landfill located within the Rosebud Mine permit boundary was found to be successfully reclaimed.

The Big Sky’s Area and Rosebud Mines are requesting full bond release on 213 acres and partial bond release on 1,250 acres of mine lands in various stages of reclamation. Monetary bond release associated with the applications totals $7,046,500.

Following these releases, a monetary bond of approximately $90 million will remain in place for the associated mine areas.

For more information about bond releases please contact the DEQ Coal Program at 406-444-4970 or visit the DEQ website at http://deq.mt.gov/Land/CoalUranium.

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