PSC handed down the honor at an awards luncheon September 30 to crews from DWC and the Beulah complex, which was recognized for taking special measures to preserve wooded draws in the active mining area of the property in Mercer County, northwest of Bismarck.

The luncheon was part of the annual meeting of the Lignite Energy Council.

“DWC has a number of wooded draws in its active mine area,” Dakota Westmoreland officials said. “Although the lower reaches of most of these wooded draws are not underlain by coal, the upper reaches can be underlain with coal. Oftentimes, the upper reaches of the wooded draws are disturbed by associated disturbances, such as sedimentation ponds and diversions and/or by coal removal.”

In fact, DWC modified its mine plan to avoid disturbing several draws, including the upper reaches. The process included moving several ponds and associated diversions out of wooded draw locations.

“DWC used creative mining and water management methods to avoid disturbance to the upper reaches of the wooded draws, thus preserving these unique features,” the company said.

DWC’s Beulah is a 9,000-acre surface mine that produces lignite from one active pit. Its coal supplies the adjacent 427-megawatt Coyote Generating Station.