DEQ Press Releases

Driscoll, Paul

DEQ Accepting Comments on Modified Rock Creek Wastewater Discharge Permit

Draft permit modified and public comment period for the permit reopened

HELENA - The Montana Department of Environmental Quality is accepting public comment on a draft discharge permit for RC Resources’ Rock Creek Mine near Noxon. RC Resources, Inc. has proposed to construct and operate an underground copper and silver mine located approximately five miles northeast of Noxon on the southern flanks of the Cabinet Mountains in Sanders County. The discharge permit is predominately for storm water discharges.

DEQ issued a draft permit July 31, 2015. As a result of substantive public comments, DEQ has modified the draft permit and is reopening the public comment period for the permit that is specifically associated with the operation of mine.

Specific changes made to the permit are based on updates to the mine’s design that have eliminated the comingling of storm water with process wastewater at Outfalls 003, 004, and 007.  The draft permit contains effluent limitations, monitoring requirements, and requires the implementation of Best Management Practices. The draft permit also requires the permittee to develop and maintain a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan to address and control storm water discharges. The draft permit incorporates technology-based and water quality-based effluent limits to ensure that any authorized discharges do not cause degradation of high quality waters.

A public hearing will be held on the draft wastewater discharge permit, the fact sheet and the environmental assessment on Nov. 11, 2015, starting at 6:00 p.m. in the Noxon School located at 300 Noxon Avenue in Noxon. Information on the draft permit can be found on the DEQ website:

DEQ is accepting comments on the draft permit until November 13, 2015. Comments may be directed to DEQ Permitting & Compliance Division, Water Protection Bureau, P.O. Box 200901, Helena, MT  59620; or emailed to: All substantive comments will be considered by DEQ in the formulation of final permit. 

The State of Montana makes reasonable accommodations for any known disability that may interfere with a person’s ability to participate in state government.  Persons needing an accommodation must notify Jenna Stamper no later than October 23, 2015, to allow adequate time to make needed arrangements.  You may call Jenna at 444-3080 or write to her at the address noted to make your request known.


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