Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Sat, Sept. 25

Letter to the editor: Kayenta mine will be reclaimed in accordance with law

To the editor:

I am writing and the Navajo-Hopi Observer to reply to the guest column of Vernon Masayesva of the Black Mesa Water Coalition.

In his guest editorial, Mr. Masayesva expresses concern that Peabody Coal's recent bankruptcy and the use of self-bonds will allow the company to leave behind its mining operations on tribal land without properly reclaiming them.

For the record, Peabody's Kayenta mine on the Hopi and Navajo reservations are fully bonded with more than $245 million in surety bonds. The U.S. Department of the Interior's Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), which regulates coal mining on these lands, has not allowed Peabody to use self-bonding on the reservations.

The Interior Department and OSMRE stand fully committed to ensuring that when mining is complete, all lands, including Navajo and Hopi tribal lands, are reclaimed, in accordance with the law.

Christopher Homes, public affairs specialist

Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement

Washington, D.C.

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