HELENA – Elk Ridge Farms Inc. has paid $9,440 to the Department of Environmental Quality to resolve violations of the Montana Opencut Mining Act at the Elk Ridge Farms gravel pit in Liberty County.
In Feb. 2016, DEQ conducted an inspection at the pit and observed that Elk Ridge had mined on 6.3 acres, which is over the five-acre limit allowed in a Limited Opencut Operation.
Under a limited opencut operation, an operator holding a current opencut mining permit can conduct operations before obtaining a permit for a new site as long as DEQ is notified before starting the operation. In addition, the materials and overburden removed cannot exceed 10,000 cubic yards and the total disturbed area cannot exceed five acres.
Elk Ridge returned to compliance with the Opencut Mining Act by obtaining a permit for the pit.
For information about the Opencut Mining Act or the permitting process, please visit the Opencut Mining Program website at http://deq.mt.gov/Land/opencut .
For more information or to set up an interview for this story, please contact Lisa Peterson, DEQ Public Information Officer, 406-444-2929 or firstname.lastname@example.org .