HELENA – The Montana Department of Environmental Quality today issued a preliminary determination on the air quality permit for the proposed Otter Creek Coal Mine in southeastern Montana.
The Preliminary Determination document is open for a 30-day comment period and is available on the DEQ website: http://www.deq.mt.gov/airquality/ARMpermits/airquality.mcpx
Otter Creek Coal, LLC initially submitted a Montana Air Quality Permit application to DEQ in November, 2014 and DEQ deemed the application complete on April 2, 2015. As part of the permitting process, a preliminary determination specific to air quality is made for the operation of a surface coal mine so the public can review and provide comments specific to the air quality permit. These comments will be used by DEQ to help guide the air quality permit decision.
DEQ and the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation are preparing an Environmental Impact Statement pursuant to the Montana Environmental Policy Act for the proposed mine. The EIS will contain analysis of the effects of the mine and an assessment of impacts to air quality, water quality, vegetation, and other issues. DEQ will issue a Department Determination on the air quality permit only after the Environmental Impact Statement is final.
Comments should be sent to Department of Environmental Quality, Attn: Rhonda Payne, firstname.lastname@example.org, P.O. Box 2000901, Helena, MT 59620 no later than June 10, 2015.
The proposed Otter Creek Coal Mine is approximately five miles southeast of the town of Ashland. DEQ is responsible for several permitting actions for the Otter Creek Coal Mine. In addition to the air quality permit, DEQ’s Industrial and Energy Minerals Bureau is reviewing the mining application pursuant to the Montana Surface and Underground Mine Reclamation Act, and DEQ’s Water Protection Bureau will process the Montana Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit application.