Smith River Mine Scoping Meetings
Montana’s Smith River is renowned worldwide for its clean water, rugged canyon scenery, and the incredible trout fishery that many Montanans hold near and dear to their heart. The Smith River is a permitted river for not only commercial sponsored trips but also recreational trips as well. This in response to over use of the resource in the past.
A Canadian mining company Tintina Resources Montana has coupled with an Australian mining firm Sandfire to create the Black Butte Copper Mine Project. They are planning a massive mine, in the Smith River drainage by submitting an application to the Sate of Montana to move forward on this mine in the headwaters of the Smith River and underneath Sheep Creek.
The Montana DEQ has begun composing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), and has set a deadline of November 16th to submit comments regarding scoping. Scoping is the initial process of determining what issues should be studied in the EIS. The Scoping process gives you the public the opportunity to tell the DEQ what you want included in their analysis and why it should be included.
DEQ has set the date for three initial public hearings in Great Falls, White Sulphur Springs, and Livingston Montana. Times and locations below.
- Great Falls Civic Center, 2 Park Drive South, Great Falls, Montana, on Monday, October 30th from 6:00 to 9:00 pm
- White Sulphur Springs High School Gymnasium, 405 South Central Avenue, White Sulphur Springs, Montana, on Wednesday, November 1st from 6:00 to 9:00 pm.
- Park County High School Gymnasium, 102 View Vista Drive, Livingston, Montana, on Tuesday, November 7th from 6:00 to 9:00 pm
In evaluating the possible negative impacts to water and quality and quality associated with Tintina’s mining proposal , DEQ should seriously consider the hit this would cause to a significant portion of Montana’s robust and growing tourist and lout door recreation economy. Tourists spend at least $350 million annually in Montana on fishing which is at th heart of the state’s $7 billion/year outdoor recreation economy. That economy generates over 71K Montana jobs.
About 7K people float the 60 mile permitted stretch of the Smith annually. No roads, a beautiful and stunning canyon, all planned out for our enjoyment. It is th sonly permitted recreation river in the state. I know several families that have been fortunate to go every year for the past 20yrs and the times with their children, family, and friends is invaluable. It cannot be measured with a dollar amount. I have been one time. Un-real. Have been wanting to go back ever since. IT is my plans with my wife who has never been. To think of that experience jeopardized is frightening to me. I do not want a mine there. I just don’t.
$10 million annually is the dollars that the Smith River generates for the Montana economy. Lots of jobs for the local service industry, outdoor lovers, and recreation businesses supporting tons of Montana families. Montana’s Smith River is an important landmark, recreation, and economic corridor that is too valuable to risk.
We are conservationists here at Headhunters. We encourage you to attend one of the public hearings.
Below is there DEQ Press Release info available on their website here.
Ponozzo, Kristi / Tuesday, October 3, 2017 / Categories: Department of Environmental Quality
Scoping meetings held for Environmental Impact Statement of proposed mine
DEQ asking for public comment to identify issues likely to involve significant impacts and possible alternatives
HELENA – The Montana Department of Environmental Quality is in the process of preparing an Environmental Impact Statement under the Montana Environmental Policy Act for the Black Butte Copper Project proposed by Tintina Montana.
The EIS will analyze the potential impacts of the proposed underground mine and serve as the MEPA review for other potential permits that may be issued by DEQ, including an air quality permit, a public water supply permit and a surface water discharge permit. It also lays out how the mining operation proposed in Tintina’s application complies with the Metal Mine Reclamation Act.
“This environmental review will be extensive and we take it very seriously,” said Director Tom Livers. “It will be a complex EIS and public input is an important piece of the process.”
The first phase in preparing an EIS is to determine the scope. DEQ is asking for comments from federal, tribal, state and local governments and interested persons and groups that help identify issues likely to involve significant impacts and possible alternatives to be considered in the EIS.
The scoping period will begin October 2, 2017, and end Thursday, November 16, 2017. The public scoping meetings will be held at the following locations, dates and times:
Great Falls Civic Center, 2 Park Drive South, Great Falls, Montana, on Monday, October 30th from 6:00 to 9:00 pm
White Sulphur Springs High School Gymnasium, 405 South Central Avenue, White Sulphur Springs, Montana, on Wednesday, November 1st from 6:00 to 9:00 pm.
Park County High School Gymnasium, 102 View Vista Drive, Livingston, Montana, on Tuesday, November 7th from 6:00 to 9:00 pm
Under current law, DEQ has one year from the issuance of the more detailed compliance document to complete an Environmental Impact Statement. DEQ has hired a contractor to assist in the preparation of the EIS.
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 permit application is available for the public to view at DEQ’s main office in Helena (1520 East 6th Avenue). The application may also be viewed by visiting DEQ’s website (http://deq.mt.gov/Land/hardrock/tintinamines).
Scoping comments may be submitted at one of the public meetings, electronically email@example.com, or by postal mail to the following address:
Department of Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 200901
Helena, MT 59620-0901
Questions on the environmental review may also be directed to Craig Jones electronically (firstname.lastname@example.org) or 406-444-0514. Comments must be submitted to DEQ no later than November 16, 2017.
DEQ will not accept comments that are threatening, defamatory, libelous, slanderous, or discriminatory in nature. DEQ will make reasonable accommodations for those with disabilities who wish to participate in the meeting. If you require an accommodation, please contact Jeni Garcin at 406-444-6469 or: email@example.com
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