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Environment & Science

Section Of Rosebud Mine Land Meets State's Environmental Standard

WildEarth Guardians
Rosebud mine

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality has determined that a portion of the Rosebud Mine in Colstrip, Montana, has reached its pre-development condition

Around 1000 acres of Rosebud Mine, Area E, have been re-soiled, reseeded, and reclaimed. 

That’s according to Chris Yde with Montana DEQ.

“It will basically be used for livestock grazing and wildlife habitat,” said Yde. “But now that we have released jurisdiction on it, it can go back to the post-mine landowners and then it will be up to the post-mine landowners to determine what it’s used for.”

Western Energy Company mined in the mid-1970s to the late 1980s under state oversight.

The state requires developers to restore land to its previous environmental conditions after it’s done mining.  To do that, they replant native vegetation and test the water, among other things. 

DEQ also requires companies to invest money as security in the form of a surety bond. That gives them an incentive to complete each of four stages of mitigation.

On Thursday, DEQ announced it will release a final surety bond of $1.2 million to Western Energy Company. It’s unclear what will be done with the land following this announcement. Other parcels of Rosebud Mine have also been reclaimed, are currently being mined, or have been permitted to be mined