Protection of the Environment
Westmoreland is committed to operating in a manner that meets or exceeds current environmental law. This involves the proper planning, permitting and monitoring of mining activities to assure compliance with applicable standards. The reclamation of mined lands is also an important objective of each mining complex.
Reclamation is an integral part of Westmoreland Coal Company’s mining operations. Reclamation activities consist of filling the voids created during coal removal, replacing sub-soils and top-soils and then re-establishing the vegetative cover. At the conclusion of reclamation activities, the area disturbed by mining will look similar to what it did before mining begun. The mines are required to keep reclamation contemporaneous with mining. Typically this results in approximately the same number of acres reclaimed annually as are disturbed. The primary pre-mining land uses of Westmoreland’s mines are agricultural.
The Company also addresses the impacts the mining operations have on wildlife habitat and on sites with cultural significance. At the Jewett Mine, the mining plan preserves the nesting area on the Interior Least Tern, a bird threatened in the region. The Rosebud Mine has altered its mining plan to preserve Native American petroglyphs on rock formations. Similar culturally significant sites have been excavated by trained archeologists. Historic buildings on mine property have been moved to preserve them.
Westmoreland endeavors to operate as good environmental stewards, citizens and neighbors.