DEQ Press Releases

Driscoll, Paul

DEQ opens 30-day public comment period for proposed revision at Spring Creek Mine near Decker

Helena – The Montana Department of Environmental Quality today released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for a major revision at the Spring Creek Coal Mine northeast of Decker, beginning a 30-day public comment period.


The Spring Creek Mine is in the southeast corner of Big Horn County, approximately eight miles northeast of Decker. The proposed revision would add 977 acres of new mining disturbance to recover approximately 72 million tons of coal. The project would extend the life of the mine by approximately four years, from 2027 to 2031. The total disturbance area would increase from 6,134 acres to 7,111 acres, however the project would occur within the mine’s existing permit boundary, which encompasses a total of 9,220 acres.


The proposed revision also would change the currently-approved post-mine topography to better resemble the pre-mine topography and would provide additional flat-benched areas for sage grouse habitat, among other wildlife mitigation measures.


The proposed revision was submitted by Spring Creek Coal, LLC, and reviewed by DEQ under the Montana Strip and Underground Mine Reclamation Act. The Draft EIS evaluates the environmental impacts resulting from the proposed revision, pursuant to the requirements of the Montana Environmental Policy Act.


DEQ will host an open house and public meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 11, at the Big Horn County Extension Office in the LBH Center, 317 N. Custer Ave, in Hardin. The meeting will begin with an open house from 6-7 p.m., followed by a DEQ presentation on the Draft EIS and permitting process. The public will then have the opportunity to provide oral and/or written testimony. Comments also may be submitted electronically at


All comments must be received by 5 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019. An electronic CD version is available at the Big Horn County Public Library, 419 N. Custer Ave, Hardin, MT. All comments will become part of the project record and are available for public review, including the commenter’s name and address.


DEQ will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities who wish to participate in the public meeting. If you require an accommodation, please contact Jen Lane at 406-444-4956 or


What: Public meeting and public comment opportunity on the draft Environmental Impact Statement for permit revisions for the Spring Creek Mine near Decker

When: Wednesday, Sept. 11. Open house from 6-7 p.m., followed by presentation and public comment period

Where:  Big Horn County Extension Office in the LBH Center, 317 N. Custer Ave, Hardin

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