On Wednesday, September 19, 2018, the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Land Quality Advisory Board approved proposed rule revisions to the financial assurance regulations to move to the Environmental Quality Council.
This rule package was developed to address changes in financial assurance instruments, corporate structuring, and financial markets that have occurred since the original bonding rules and regulations were adopted in 1982.
According to Kyle Wendtland, DEQ Land Quality Administrator, the goals of the proposed rules are to modernize the financial assurance regulations, retain all financial instruments for use now and into the future, diversify the financial assurance portfolios, provide for immediate cash needs in the event of forfeiture, and ultimately reduce the reclamation liability risk to the state of Wyoming while providing industry with sound financial assurance instrument options.
"The proposed rules as written, are not intended to end self-bonding," said Wendtland. "They do, however, modernize the requirements and ensure that self-bonding will be a viable bonding instrument into the future."
Wendtland added that DEQ did extensive outreach and met with the Wyoming Mining Association and other interested parties prior to the final development of these proposed rules. The rule revisions have been in development since 2015, and the approved rule package since June of 2017.
These proposed rules will now move forward to the Environmental Quality Council.