January – February 2019, Volume 47, Number 1

By a unanimous vote on February 19th, the Wyoming Environmental Quality Council (EQC) adopted new comprehensive rules to strengthen financial assurance requirements for coal and noncoal mines. Notably, the rules strictly limit what companies will be able to qualify to use “self-bonding” to guarantee mine reclamation costs.

The rules were developed by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) staff after several years of problematic coal company bankruptcies, in which companies entered bankruptcy with over a billion dollars in self-bonds. Since self-bonds are not secured by a third-party, Wyoming would not have been able to collect on them during bankruptcy or forfeiture.

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