Environmental Policy and Philosophy

Contura Energy Environmental Policy Statement

Contura and its affiliates, including our officers, directors, managers and employees, will conduct our mining business with a focus on environmental awareness and a commitment to the protection of the environment.

We believe:

  • Environmental awareness and a commitment to constant improvement are essential components of business excellence.
  • Environmental stewardship is integral to safe, productive and cost-effective mining operations.
  • Each employee of Contura’s affiliates must be an environmental steward, committed to helping protect the environment.
  • Throughout the mining and reclamation process, all levels of our organization must be proactive in implementing practices that promote environmental excellence and stewardship.
  • Positive environmental results can be achieved through the use of proper mining techniques and by a commitment to excellence in reclamation and restoration.
  • We will be committed to measure, maintain and improve our level of compliance with environmental and reclamation rules and regulations.


Environmental Compliance

Contura’s affiliates strive to achieve full compliance with all environmental laws, rules and regulations that govern coal mining. We continually track our compliance using a very detailed environmental database, and we set compliance goals that reflect our commitment to continual improvement.

All coal mining and reclamation activities are regulated by The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA). SMCRA requires that all land disturbances be minimized during the mining process and encourages maximum coal recovery. The Federal Office of Surface Mining (OSM) has a regulatory oversight role in all the states where we operate.  Each of these states also has its own regulatory program for coal mining and reclamation activities, which is referred to as state primacy. The regulatory agencies for the states in which we operate are listed below:


Environmental Partnerships

We seek opportunities to partner with organizations in our local areas to bring about positive environmental outcomes. We are committed to the communities in which we operate, and working together with local groups is one way we demonstrate this commitment.  Specific project goals often vary based on the location, but a sampling of partnership examples are included below.

  • IMG_0774We are working with the American Chestnut Foundation (ACF) to help re-establish the American Chestnut tree that once dominated the Appalachian forests but succumbed to a blight over 100 years ago. Contura’s reclaimed surface mine sites are ideal locations for the seedlings that have been cross-bred with blight resistant species. The ACF currently monitors a stand of hybrid chestnuts planted during reclamation on our Red Onion Surface Mine.
  • We have a close relationship with The Nature Conservancy in southwest Virginia. The primary focus of our cooperative efforts is the protection of the Clinch and Powell watersheds in the coalfields of Southwest Virginia.
  • We support the research conducted by the Powell River Project. A specially constructed valleyfill on our 88 Strip Surface Mine is the site of ongoing PRP research to assess the effect of specialized spoil handling on the generation of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) in the discharge from the underdrains of the fill.


Awards and Achievements

We take pride in the work we do to reclaim and restore mined lands. We strive to minimize our environmental impacts and leave the mined land in a condition that is as good as, or better than, we found it.  Operations acquired by Contura affiliates have been recognized on numerous occasions for exemplary performance in reclamation and have received a number of awards for this important work.

For a list of awards won by Contura affiliates or their operations, click here.