Recent reclamation activities have included the reconstruction of a stream channel of Porcupine Creek, an important drainage in the immediate mine area. The reconstruction required specialized reclamation methods, including precise grading of various flood plains and placement of acceptable substitute alluvium. Reclamation also required the construction of wildlife features to support the post-mine land use function in the form of rock piles, snags and nest platforms. Given the significant contemporaneous reclamation effort at the mine, a series of 10 photo points throughout the permit area have been established that allows the regulatory authority to monitor the progress of backfilling and grading operations on a continual basis.
One of the innovative practices used at NARM, which was jointly developed by the Wyoming Land Quality Depart-ment and Peabody Powder River Operations, LLC, is the creation of an electronic geo-database to track bond release reclamation verification criteria and assess compliance with regulatory requirements and permit commitments. The pioneering geo-database is the first spatially supported database developed in Wyoming for mined land reclamation bond release and inspection purposes. The system uses a combination of Global Positioning System and Geographical Information System technologies, which enable state inspectors to monitor selected compliance features such as sediment ponds, topsoil stockpiles, culverts, alternate sediment control measures, groundwater monitoring stations, erosion and wildlife features. This has helped streamline the preparation of inspection reports and accelerate the processing of bond release requests, as well as facilitate the tracking of bond released lands. It has also allowed greater transparency and availability of data and information to the public.
In March 2012, the Interstate Mining Compact Commission (IMCC) recognized NARM with the Kenes C. Bowling National Mine Reclamation Award.