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DEQ responds to federal notice of possible Alpha and Arch self-bonding violations

The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality has responded to the U.S. Department of the Interior Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement notice that self-bonding commitments between the state and Arch Coal and Alpha Natural Resources might be in violation. "DEQ's actions have ensured that the public has not incurred one dollar in reclamation liability for Arch's operations in Wyoming," the agency said in a statement yesterday. "At the same time, not one miner has been put out of work as a result of DEQ's actions. Reclamation continues at all seven sites on schedule and there has been no harm to the environment, public health, or public safety." With both Alpha and Arch Coal facing bankruptcy, the feds in January had raised concerns that the DEQ might have allowed the companies to fall below their ability to self-bond for reclamation purposes. DEQ in its response asserts that it has followed all rules and regulations regarding self-bonding. Read more about the initial notice here and DEQ's full response here . *Feature photo: Coal mining operation in Wyoming h/t Jim Parkin/shutterstock.com / Pitchengine Communities* #county17 #news