BEFORE THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
5 PUBLIC HEARING TO DISCUSS CURRENT LAWS, REGULATIONS,
PROCEDURES AND SCIENCE BEHIND BLASTING OPERATIONS AT COAL
11 Transcript of Hearing Proceedings in the above-
12 entitled matter before the Department of Environmental
13 Quality, Land Quality Division, commencing on the 19th
14 day of November, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. at the Campbell County
15 Public Library, Wyoming Room, 2101 South 4-J Road,
16 Gillette, Wyoming, Mr. Jim Gampetro presiding, with Board
17 Members Mr. Robert Green, Mr. Jim Skeen, Mr. Jay Collins
18 and Mr. Gene Smith in attendance. Also in attendance
19 were Ms. Nancy Nuttbrock, Administrator of the LQD,
20 Mr. Craig Hults of the LQD, Mr. Mark Rogaczewski of the
21 LQD and Mr. Luke Esch with the Attorney General's Office,
23 Ms. Wendy Hutchinson, Mr. Tony Trouchon, Mr. Chuck
24 Sumner, Mr. Dave Curtis, Mr. Rod Burke, Mr. Bill Belmont,
25 Mr. Mitch Heimer, Ms. Monica Williams, Mr. Steve Beil,
1 Ms. Lecia Craft, Mr. Glenn Logan, Mr. Jeremy Dunn,
2 Mr. Kurt King, Mr. Dave Green, Mr. Brett Harrels,
3 Ms. Beth Goodnough, Ms. Rena Knezovich, Mr. Kyle Colby,
4 Mr. Brad Brown, Mr. Darryl Maunder, Ms. Laura Ackermann,
5 Mr. Nick Tyler, Mr. Tim Casola, Mr. Russ Dalgarn,
6 Mr. Charlie Messenheimer, Mr. David King, Mr. Jeff
7 Fleischman, Mr. Ken Eltschlager, Mr. Jonathan Cabalas,
8 Mr. Tim Morrison, Mr. Steve Mueller, Mr. Doug Emme,
9 Mr. Jason Murray, Mr. Greg Smith, Mr. Mark Burke,
10 Mr. Jack Atwater, Mr. Donny Fullenwider, Mr. Frank
11 Bartlett, Mr. Rod Burget, Ms. Wanda Burget, Mr. Marion
12 Loomis, Mr. Bill Dinsmore, Ms. Rebecca Bickal, Mr. Landon
13 Smith, Ms. Shannon Anderson, Mr. Derek Tabbs, Ms. Tanya
14 King, Mr. Mark Thrall, Mr. Gordon Shinkle, Mr. Marion
15 Robinson, Mr. Jim Smith, Mr. Jim Spanos, Mr. Frank
16 Ferris, Ms. Laura Blake, Mr. Justin Blake, Mr. Scott
17 Norman, Mr. Jim Blauert, Mr. Lynn Busskohl, and Ms. Karla
4 CHAIRMAN GAMPETRO: We'll start in the
5 back. And you're going to have to kind of speak up.
6 Later on we'll have questions after the presentations,
7 and we'll have you use the microphone. But for right
8 now, if you could just introduce yourself and who you
9 represent, whom you represent. And let's just start in
11 MS. HUTCHINSON: I'm Wendy Hutchinson.
17 MR. CURTIS: Dave Curtis, Nelson Brothers.
20 MR. HEIMER: Mitch Heimer, Black Thunder.
21 MS. WILLIAMS: Monica Williams, Coal Creek
24 MS. CRAFT: Lecia Craft, Thunder Basin.
2 MR. DUNN: Jeremy Dunn, Cloud Peak Energy.
7 MR. HARRELS: Brett Harrels, Western Fuels
9 MS. GOODNOUGH: Beth Goodnough, Western
11 MS. KNEZOVICH: Rena Knezovich, Cordero
15 MR. MAUNDER: Darryl Maunder, Cloud Peak
17 MS. ACKERMANN: Laura Ackermann, Cloud
19 MR. TYLER: Nick Tyler, Cloud Peak Energy.
21 MR. DALGARN: Russ Dalgarn, Converse EMA.
22 MR. MESSENHEIMER: Charlie Messenheimer,
23 Campbell County Public Health and Emergency Management.
24 MR. KING: David King, Campbell County
3 MS. NUTTBROCK: I'm Nancy Nuttbrock with
4 the Land Quality Division in Cheyenne.
6 Casper field office director for the Office of Surface
8 MR. ELTSCHLAGER: Ken Eltschlager for the
10 MR. CABALAS: Jonathan Cabalas, Peabody.
13 MR. MUELLER: Steve Mueller, Black Fuels
24 MR. BARTLETT: Frank Bartlett, Office of
3 MR. LOOMIS: Marion Loomis, Wyoming Mining
6 Attorney General's Office and represent Land Quality
8 MR. DINSMORE: Bill Dinsmore, Peabody.
9 MS. BICKAL: Rebecca Bickal, Buckskin.
12 Powder River Basin Resource Council. I guess I'm public
20 MR. ROBINSON: Marion Robinson, Peabody.
22 MR. SPANOS: Jim Spanos, Buckley Powder.
24 MS. BLAKE: Laura Blake, Thunder Basin
1 MR. BLAKE: Justin Blake, Thunder Basin.
2 MR. NORMAN: Scott Norman, Thunder Basin
4 CHAIRMAN GAMPETRO: I'm Jim Gampetro. I'm
5 the Land Quality Advisory Board chairman. I'm a public
6 representative. And each of our representatives will
7 introduce themselves. Please let them know if you're
9 MR. SMITH: I'm Gene Smith representing
10 elected officials from southwestern Wyoming.
13 MR. GREEN: Bob Green. I'm the industry
17 CHAIRMAN GAMPETRO: Okay. Thank you all
18 very much. We'll have questions at the end, like I said.
19 And at that point, we'll probably want to get a
20 microphone around so we can deal with it a little bit
21 better. We need to entertain a motion for the --
22 regarding the minutes of August the 20th, 2012 meeting.
24 motion to approve the minutes from the August 12th
8 CHAIRMAN GAMPETRO: All those in favor
14 We need an update on the status of recent Land
16 MR. HULTS: Like I said, I'm with Land
17 Quality. I do most of the ushering of the rules through
18 the administrative process. We've had a pretty active
19 year. Right now the big development, I guess, or the
20 thing that's working the most is we have our most recent
21 coal rule package that we had done earlier this year, is
22 now with the governor's office for final review. And
23 they have until December 16th for the review. At that
24 point we'll be submitting it to the OSM for their final
1 A little background. It will be deconstructed
2 a little bit. We had multiple topics we were talking
3 about. So we're actually going to submit that to the OSM
4 in two packages just to facilitate the review. Other
5 than that, we currently have some rule packages or ideas
6 that we're working on related to small mining and limited
7 mine, which will be in response to legislative changes if
8 they go through. And then finally, we're also working on
9 some uranium revisions. We have some things we have to
10 fix, and we're looking at the scope of other things for
11 that review, as well. And that's kind of where we're at
14 Nancy, did you have some comments you wanted to
16 MS. NUTTBROCK: If you're ready to begin,
20 MS. NUTTBROCK: Well, actually, could I do
21 just a short introduction here before we get started?
22 First of all, folks, thank you for taking the
23 time out of your busy schedules to attend this meeting
24 today. I think it's very important that we recognize
25 what the industry is doing, and we also recognize some of
1 the concerns that the general public has.
2 And, Shannon, thank you for being here today.
3 I know you feel like kind of a lone soldier here, but I
4 appreciate you coming and representing the public.
5 We have -- on today's agenda, I believe we have
6 the right experts in the room to have a really robust
7 discussion about blasting. We have Doug Emme with the
8 Land Quality Division, who is going to be co-presenting
9 with Ken Eltschlager from the Office of Surface Mining.
10 And, Ken, you're out of the eastern division,
13 MS. NUTTBROCK: Okay. It's the first time
14 I've had an opportunity to meet Ken. So nice to meet
16 We have Marion Loomis here representing the
17 industry. Marion, of course, is the executive director
18 for the Wyoming Mining Association. We're very pleased
19 to have Marion as part of our discussion today, as well.
21 We also have David King, Campbell County
22 emergency response coordinator. Certainly pleased to
23 have you and your staff as part of this discussion.
24 Obviously a crucial piece to the notification system and
25 procedures and of the operation here.
1 So the intent and purpose of this meeting
2 today, folks, is really education and outreach. Like I
3 said, we have some of the greatest minds in blasting and
4 industry expertise right here in this room today. So, if
5 there's any discussion that needs to be had, let's
7 So, again, please bear with my cold. I'll try
8 not to get you all infected. But I'm really pleased to
9 have everybody attending today and looking forward to the
10 discussion. With that, many of you probably know Jeff
12 Jeff, would you like to say a few words?
13 (Statement off the record by Mr. Fleischman.)
14 MR. GREEN: Mr. Chairman, we've had some
15 more people arrive, if we could have them introduce
17 (Statement off the record by Mr. Emme.)
18 CHAIRMAN GAMPETRO: If you've arrived and
19 you have not indicated who you are and with whom you
20 are -- whom you represent, if you could please let us
22 MR. BLAUERT: Jim Blauert, Thunder Basin
24 MR. BUSSKOHL: Lynn Busskohl, Coal Creek
2 (Presentation off the record by Mr. Eltschlager.)
3 MS. NUTTBROCK: Chairman Gampetro, Marion
4 Loomis was going to speak and also David King. Would you
5 entertain just a short break so we can queue up Marion's
6 presentation and maybe stretch our legs?
7 CHAIRMAN GAMPETRO: I think that's a good
8 idea. We'll take a break for ten minutes. Is ten
12 CHAIRMAN GAMPETRO: Mr. Marion Loomis is
13 up, and he's going to talk about mitigation.
14 (Presentation off the record by Mr. Loomis.)
15 (Presentation off the record by Mr. King.)
17 everybody, Doug and Ken and Marion and David. Thank you
18 for your excellent presentations. Very educational,
20 Before we go to the questions, I'd like to ask
21 everyone who hasn't signed in as attending to please do
22 so so that we get the proper spelling of your name and so
23 on. Other than that, it's open for questions. Any
3 I've dealt with the blasting at the mines
4 for -- since 1995, when Eagle Butte told me that those
5 clouds were dangerous and you need to stay out of them.
6 Well, I knew that. And that was good for me. But when I
7 saw the clouds going over the highway and people driving
8 through them, riding their bicycles through them, that
9 sort of stuff, it very much concerned me.
10 I take pictures of the orange clouds. These
11 are more recent, not back all the way to '95. This is a
12 park right here. My concern is telling your family and
13 your children that it's dangerous. How much is in that
14 cloud? I have lots of them. I don't call Doug Emme
15 every time there's a blast, but I am concerned about how
16 we tell the public about it. That's what I thought this
17 maybe was, was letting people know that these clouds are
18 not safe to go in. Who's going to call this kid at
19 seven, eight, nine, ten years old at the park and tell
20 them that they need to go inside? Maybe inside isn't
22 This is the stuff that concerns me. And it's
23 been going on for years and years and years. I've heard
24 that, oh, my gosh, there's nitrogen in Viagra. I've
25 heard that -- you know, we had one guy who said he put
1 his kid's head in that cloud at a public hearing. Let
2 the public know that it's not safe in a way that -- you
3 know, they might not get a telephone call if they're out
4 hunting from another state. There's got to be a way to
5 let people know in general. That's the industry. I'm
6 really glad the industry is here. Maybe you can go up on
7 your Facebook and say, tell all your family and friends
8 that it is dangerous, and let everybody else know.
9 There's people at my work that I've talked to,
10 and they have no idea until I tell them. That's what we
11 need to do. We need to tell the public the truth, that
12 it is dangerous. Don't tell them it's not poisonous when
13 you have a cloud going over your city. Tell them that
14 truth so that they can take the steps that they need to
16 As a member of the public, well, I do read the
17 legal notices. You never know where somebody might
18 affect me. They're blasting or they're moving the mine
19 or something. So I read the public notices. Most people
20 don't. I read the notice today, and I almost didn't come
21 today. I almost didn't come because it said it was the
22 science and stuff behind it. For the ordinary people,
23 they wouldn't understand that it could affect you.
24 It frustrates me that we can't just tell people
25 the truth and put it in the paper. How does the orange
1 cloud -- could the orange cloud affect you? How could it
2 make a difference in your life? What do you do when you
3 see an orange cloud? Put the truth out there. Don't
4 make it a -- I understand all of this. I've been through
5 it for long enough, I understand about it. I learned
6 about it. I read about it. I've got enough knowledge to
7 be able to deal with it for myself, but not for
8 everybody. How am I supposed to go out and tell people
9 when people that are in charge are saying it's not
11 I would like you people that have all the
12 expertise that knows what's in it and how it can affect
13 people to let the public know what to do. That's all I'm
14 asking. And I've asked for fifteen years. So I'd
15 appreciate any help I could get from it.
16 CHAIRMAN GAMPETRO: David, would you want
17 to respond to this? This sounds like informing the
18 public. Or anyone else that would like to respond.
19 MR. KING: I think Karla is exactly right.
20 We got a whole lot more public education we got to do.
21 And, quite frankly, in preparing for this, I realized
22 that we've had a deficiency in the way we've told
23 because -- and Karla and I have had lots of discussions
24 over the years. It's one of those things that she's not
25 a stranger to this problem at all. And she's probably
1 one of our most vocal spokespeople from John Q. Public's
3 And I've been making notes here, too, because,
4 quite frankly, her point about parks and so forth is one
5 that I hadn't even thought about. She hadn't mentioned
6 that one to me recently, and I hadn't thought about what
7 do we do for our public notification in parks? Because
8 unless I set off sirens, I don't have a way to reach into
9 that park. And a seven-year-old kid may or may not have
10 a cell phone. So how do we go about that?
11 Now, I will also say I think we've got a better
12 chance of doing something in terms of monitoring the
13 location of a cloud and putting emergency services -- if
14 it's coming down and it's on the ground, putting
15 emergency services out there to start moving with that,
16 that, okay, we have a problem. Our biggest problem in
17 the past has been the cloud's on the ground if it's on
18 the ground or it's off in the area, and we're reacting
19 rather than proactive. And I think this is where the
20 initiative was started in January, is changing that a
22 CHAIRMAN GAMPETRO: In the comment there,
23 the thing that I was hearing is that the public in
24 general doesn't know about orange clouds. Is that an
1 MR. KING: I think that's a big issue. If
2 I told you all to take cover right now, we have a
3 tornado, do you know what to do? Where in this building
4 would be a safe location? You've been trained over a
5 period of years about that. Now, if we said we've got an
6 orange cloud coming to this building, this particular
7 group is fairly well educated on that and would know what
8 to do. If this was the bazaar at Cam-Plex on Saturday or
9 the tree -- Festival of Trees out there and we told the
10 same room of people out there, I seriously doubt anybody
11 out there would have known what to do if we had an orange
12 cloud coming. That's part of the education piece I'm
13 talking about that I think we need to do a better job on.
14 My counterpart from Converse County, Russ
15 Dalgarn, at the back there came up today to learn more
16 about this because Converse County has got these issues
17 on the north end of the county. They don't have the same
18 population base up there. But emergency management -- I
19 think, Russ, I'll ask you to agree or disagree on this.
20 I think two-thirds of our job is public education, being
21 that interface and trying to get the word out. And I
22 mark this as a high-priority item that we need to start
24 I'm, quite frankly, very disappointed. Unless
25 somebody snuck in, we have no media here. Because that
1 would be another way to do some public education on it.
4 of -- these are pictures -- I went to a funeral in Casper
5 last year, and these pictures are west of Wright. How
6 many mines are there west of Wright? Does anybody know?
7 These are orange cloud pictures west of Wright. There is
8 none. The clouds probably went right through Wright to
9 get to where it was. So this is what I'm asking.
10 I understand about the blasting, and I
11 appreciate all of the forward motion that we've made over
12 the last fifteen years. Because we have gotten the signs
13 on the roads. We have gotten the emergency system that
14 Dave was talking about. That was all -- it all worked in
15 the plan along the way. And we've got the -- some of the
16 mines have the signs that they stopped the traffic, which
17 is good. But I think that informing the people and
18 letting them know that they can't -- that the cloud is
19 dangerous and they shouldn't be in it is probably the
22 CHAIRMAN GAMPETRO: Well, thank you very
25 questions, I'd sure go for it, I guess, from what little
2 MS. ANDERSON: Hi. Shannon Anderson with
3 Powder River Basin Resource Council. I just wanted to
4 say, from our perspective, we did bring this to the
5 Office of Surface Mining to have an oversight topic for
6 the year. Because of our numbers, the -- throughout the
7 basin, we have members in the southern mines area. We
8 have members in the middle area. We have members in the
9 north, like Karla. And we've had reports from our
10 members over the past couple of years that we've seen
11 more and more of these orange clouds. It used to be that
12 there was a problem, and then we got it kind of handled
13 and addressed. And now we're seeing this problem again.
14 So we think it's very important that we all
15 come together and figure out a way to first prevent these
16 situations. What is causing these orange clouds?
17 Something went wrong at the mine to cause the orange
18 cloud. We shouldn't be seeing them in the first place.
19 So how do we -- how does the mining -- how do the mining
20 companies prevent this in the first place? That's the
22 And then after that, how do we make sure that
23 they're reported, both through active citizen complaints
24 and -- I wish there would have been more time spent on
25 that today, and obviously there's a lot of us in the
1 room, but just from an education perspective to let
2 people know that they do have an option, that if they see
3 an orange cloud, what should happen, and how it's
5 Frankly, with all due respect to Mr. Emme, when
6 our members report these kind of situations, they don't
7 feel like their voices are heard, which means that your
8 level of complaints is going to be less because people
9 don't feel that they want to do that because they don't
10 result in notices of violation, or if they do, the
11 companies object to those NOVs, and we end up in these
12 proceedings for months on end. We're still facing an NOV
13 from a year and a half ago that hasn't even resulted in
14 an actual fine by the company. It's in limbo because
15 there was an appeal by that company. So how do you
16 citizens feel in that process where they submit a
17 complaint, and then a year and a half later we're still
19 And then the other thing I would say, as I do,
20 I appreciate everyone in the room and what's going on,
21 and I think it does -- I'm glad to hear that Campbell
22 County's working in a better way, I think as Karla said,
23 to let people know that this is dangerous. That's
24 definitely the duty. These orange clouds, they are
25 toxic. That's exactly what they are scientifically.
1 And then I would also encourage the emergency
2 managers to think about not just populated areas, but the
3 unpopulated areas are also very important. A lot of our
4 members are ranchers. They don't live in a city. They
5 have livestock out on the grounds. They may have
6 other -- it may be unpopulated, but there still may be
7 dangers. So I would encourage the emergency managers to
8 think about protecting the public and livestock and
9 wildlife, recreation, Thunder Basin National Grassland,
10 other areas that maybe are not in the city landscape.
11 So thanks for all your attention, and we hope
12 to see less orange clouds in the future. Thanks.
16 CHAIRMAN GAMPETRO: Is there any other
17 business to come before the Land Quality advisory board?
19 CHAIRMAN GAMPETRO: Well, again, I'd like
20 to thank everybody that made presentations, questions,
21 comments. I forgot Craig the first time around, thanking
22 him for his presentation. Nancy, thank you. And I guess
23 I'd entertain a motion for adjournment.
4 CHAIRMAN GAMPETRO: All those in favor.
6 CHAIRMAN GAMPETRO: Seeing no opposed, the
3 I, RANDY A. HATLESTAD, a Registered Merit
4 Reporter, do hereby certify that I reported by machine
5 shorthand the proceedings contained herein constituting a
8 Dated this 29th day of November, 2012.