Cloud Peak Energy is committed to environmental and wildlife stewardship by minimizing their environmental impact wherever they do business. Since 2005, their mining operations have been independently certified annually to ISO 14001, the international standard for environmental management systems.
Here are 4 ways that Cloud Peak Energy safeguards Montana’s environment:
1. Restoring Land, Reclaiming and Re-seeding
Cloud Peak Energy continually strives to diminish their environmental footprint. “Following completion of mining operations, we re-grade the soil and plant native species to restore the mined land to grazing use and wildlife habitat,” says Dave Schwend, Spring Creek Mine General Manager. “We have re-seeded 41 percent of all affected lands across all of our sites, with the rest occupied by active mining or supporting facilities.”
In 2016, Cloud Peak Energy reclaimed 931 acres at the three mines it operates in Montana and Wyoming.
2. Reduced Impact Through Innovation
Every year, Cloud Peak Energy increases its exceptional environmental record through innovation and improved processes. “In 2016, we reduced our energy and greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent beyond our goals for the year, following reductions made in 2015,” Schwend says.
In 2016, Cloud Peak Energy invested in upgrades and innovations, including:
• Increasing efficiency to reduce truck traffic
• Continuously reusing waste oil in blasting to reduce the amount of diesel used and recover lost energy
• Enhancing the design of post-mining operations to reduce the amount of material required
• Focusing on preventive maintenance in pit areas to reduce travel time back to shop areas
• Improving mine plans to reduce the amount of material bulldozers must remove from the site
3. Exceeding Environmental Standards
Cloud Peak Energy has developed seven internal environmental standards to protect the precious air, land and water resources around its mining operations. “We are committed to full compliance with the most stringent environmental standards, often exceeding regulatory requirements,” Schwend says. “This process is ongoing.”
Waste minimization programs continue to reduce the volume of waste generated by their operations. “All Cloud Peak Energy’s sites are in the lowest EPA waste generator classes,” Schwend says. “We utilize a combination of controls to minimize and eliminate hazardous waste on the sites.”
These controls include:
• Material purchasing procedures that minimize the introduction of new or additive waste streams
• Substitution of nonhazardous products, procedures and/or engineering controls to reduce and control waste streams
• Recycling waste, such as steel, large equipment tires, batteries, used oil, cardboard, paper and aluminum
4. Award-winning Conservation
In January 2017, Cloud Peak Energy’s Antelope Mine received the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s Industry Reclamation Wildlife Stewardship Award. The conservation efforts at this mine illustrate Cloud Peak Energy’s commitment to returning the land back to its original use.
Whether through conservation, land reclamation, waste abatement, streamlined processes or impact reduction, Cloud Peak Energy strives every day to protect that spectacular natural resources that make Montana the magnificent place we love.
For more information about Cloud Peak Energy, visit online at CloudPeakEnergy.com.