CASPER, Wyo. — The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has awarded Antelope Coal, LLC with their 2021 “Excellence in Mining Reclamation Award” for reclamation work to reconstruct Spring Creek near the Antelope Mine.
The Wyoming DEQ said on Wednesday that the Antelope Mine encompasses over 22,500 acres in the Powder River Basin north of Douglas. Spring Creek is a tributary to Antelope Creek.
“Antelope Coal redirected Spring Creek around the mine for several years to allow for the mining of coal in the area,” the announcement states. “But before the company did so, employees conducted extensive studies of the creek and used the data collected at that time to inform the later reconstruction of Spring Creek.”
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Antelope Coal’s team reconstructed over 18,000 linear feet of Spring Creek in 2013 and 2015 to reconnect the two creeks, according to the Wyoming DEQ. Wyoming DEQ said that an Antelope Coal statement explaining the reconstruction said the work would restore the original path of the creek and help re-establish many species, including birds, reptiles and mammals.
“This is a very good example of a mine reclamation project that was carefully planned and accomplished on the ground,” Wyoming DEQ Natural Resouces Program Manager Matt Kunze said. “The reclaimed stream will provide many important functions and habitat for a variety of aquatic and terrestrial species in this part of the Powder River Basin of Wyoming.”
The Wyoming DEQ provides excellence awards to both coal and noncoal mine operators on an annual basis.