HELENA – The Montana Department of Environmental Quality today announced that it will begin review of the Black Butte Copper Project under the Montana Environmental Policy Act.
Under current law, DEQ has one year from beginning the environmental review process to complete an Environmental Impact Statement. DEQ has been working on hiring a contractor who will assist in the preparation of the EIS and anticipates being able to start the EIS process this month.
The EIS is an extensive environmental review that discloses the potential impacts of the project and includes several opportunities for public review and involvement.
“Protecting clean air and water remains our top priority,” said Montana Department of Environmental Quality Director, Tom Livers. “This is an extensive review process that ensures we continue to protect our environment, while following the law at every step.”
Last month, DEQ notified Tintina Montana that its application was complete. Today DEQ is making available a detailed compliance document, with draft permit, that outlines the agency’s determination that the mining operation proposed in Tintina’s application complies with the Metal Mine Reclamation Act.
Tintina Montana will need to obtain several other permits from DEQ including air and water quality permits. Aspects of the project will also need to be reviewed and approved by the Hard Rock Mining Impact Board and the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation for any water rights related issues.
Tintina Montana originally submitted its application for a mining permit in December 2015. DEQ responded to the application in March 2016, outlining the need for complete information on geochemical aspects and hydrology. Tintina provided follow-up information in September 2016 and DEQ issued a second deficiency response letter in December 2016. Tintina responded this May and DEQ issued a third deficiency letter with a response from Tintina in July. These responses provided DEQ complete information related to their geochemical testing and hydrologic modeling.
The compliance document is posted to the DEQ’s website at: http://deq.mt.gov/Land/hardrock/tintinamines
For questions or to arrange an interview, please contact Kristi Ponozzo, Public Policy Director, Department of Environmental Quality, 406-444-2813 or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org