Recently you were asked to send comments to the Department of Environmental Quality on the scope of its environmental analysis for Arch Coal’s proposal for a massive coal mine on Otter Creek. We recently learned that DEQ is also taking public comments on whether the mining application is sufficient for the agency to begin its analysis. The answer is NO! Please submit comments TODAY telling DEQ that Arch Coal’s permit application is woefully deficient. Far more information is needed to determine how this proposed mine will harm water and air and whether Arch Coal can be trusted.
What’s at stake? Generational farms and ranches, clean water, and abundant wildlife, OR poisoned water, strip-mined land, coal train traffic, and climate change. The Montana Department of Environmental Quality recently chose to approve the first round of permitting for 1.3 billion tons of coal at Otter Creek. They are now accepting comments on the sufficiency of Arch Coal’s application.
Arch Coal wants to mine 1.3 billion tons of coal at Otter Creek. It submitted a permit application that is full of holes. DEQ must require Arch to submit a complete application before it can review the permit.
Arch coal’s application is woefully inadequate:
- Arch failed to submit any information on the impacts their mine would have on the “Alluvial Valley Floor,” even though scientists say that the coal sits right on top of one. If scientists are right, strip mining Otter Creek will impact water quality and quantity in the mining area and downstream and have a signficant impact on agriculture.
- Arch Coal’s application for the mine doesn’t even reference the Northern Cheyenne’s pristine air quality designation, let alone discuss how a large strip mining operation might impair that clean air. DEQ should require a detailed analysis of how this mine may impact that class I area and what measure Arch Coal will take so that the Northern Cheyenne can continue to enjoy clean air.
- Coal mine applicants are required to disclose any prior history of violations at other mines they own across the country. Arch coal has failed to provide that information. DEQ must insist that Arch Coal come clean and disclose its violation history at its other coal mines.
Want to send Comments Directly?Montana Department of Environmental Quality, Industrial and Energy Minerals Bureau, Coal and Uranium Program Attn: Chris Yde P.O. Box 200901 Helena, Montana 59620-0901
Comments also may also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
A copy of the Mine Permit Application is available for public inspection at the Henry A. Malley Memorial Library located at 101 S. Lincoln Avenue in Broadus, Montana, and at the offices of the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, Industrial and Energy Minerals Bureau, Coal and Uranium Program, located at 2001 11th Avenue, Helena, Montana, and Airport Business Park IP-9, 1371 Rimtop Drive, Billings, Montana. Electronic copies of the application may be requested by visiting the website or by emailing DEQCoal@mt.gov.