The latest plantings, including pines, oaks, dogwoods and mulberries, will take Luminant’s tree plantings to over 30 million in just under 40 years. The company has reclaimed nearly 68,000 acres in that time.
Crews are currently reforesting lignite mine sites across central and east Texas, to help return land to productive uses, Luminant says. Plantings include southern yellow pine for commercial timber production, as well as a variety of trees and shrubs native to each mine location.
”We carefully select the species of trees planted and it has resulted in the establishment of thousands of acres of quality wildlife habitat,” director of environmental mining Sid Stroud said.
Since mid-December the company has been using tree-planting machines capable of planting up to 10,000 seedlings a day. It will continue through March.
Coal mining companies must meet mandatory standards for reclamation of surface mines under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, which is overseen in most coal states by the state governments.
Luminant, a subsidiary of Energy Future Holdings Corp. (formerly TXU Corp.) has interests in mining, wholesale marketing and trading, and development operations.
It operates nine Texas mines, making it the biggest lignite coal miner in the state, with average annual production of 20 million tons. The company says it expects this to grow to about 33 million tons.
Luminant has more than 15,400 MW of generation in Texas, including 2,300 MW fueled by nuclear power and 8,000 MW fueled by coal. It is also the largest purchaser of wind-generated electricity in Texas and fifth largest in the United States.