Dry Fork Mine won a prestigious Excellence in Surface Coal Mining award from the U.S. Department of the Interior

Jul 01, 2014
Dry Fork Mine wins Excellence in Surface Coal Mining award During 2010, the Western Fuels-Wyoming, Inc., Dry Fork Mine won a prestigious Excellence in Surface Coal Mining award from the U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of Surface Mining for exemplary compliance achieved during construction of a wetlands crossing project. Rather than permanently disturbing a wetlands area that had to be crossed with a conveyor and road, the mine opted to span the wetlands with a large arch type structure spanning 35 feet, which doubles as a permanent wildlife underpass. According to Beth Goodnough, Director of Regulatory Affairs for the Dry Fork Mine, "This design was significantly more extensive than the minimum design required by regulations, and was a completely voluntary undertaking by the mine. In addition to the arch crossing and installation of an elaborate retaining wall that helped avoid filling nearby wetlands, the conveyor crossing was located such that it avoided disturbing protected alluvial valley floor features in the area, helping ensure long term environmental compliance along the route." The mine won two other awards for the same project, a Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality award for environmental excellence, and a Wyoming Game and Fish Department wildlife stewardship award.