DEQ Releases Decision Document for Updated Reclamation Plan at Montana Tunnels Mining, Inc.
HELENA—The Montana Department of Environmental Quality has issued its Final Environmental Assessment and Decision Document for an updated reclamation plan at Montana Tunnels Mining, Inc. Montana Tunnels is an existing mine located approximately 25 miles south of Helena near Jefferson City, Mont. While not currently operating, the company mined gold, silver, lead and zinc until closure in December 2008. The operating permit was suspended on June 5, 2018.
The Montana Tunnels hard rock mining operating permit and reclamation plan is being updated to address reclamation needs for Clancy Creek near the Montana Tunnels pit. Pit wall stability issues began impacting Clancy Creek in approximately 2013 and a temporary plastic pipe was placed at the site to convey the flow of Clancy Creek water past the pit wall. The updated reclamation plan provides for a long-term reclamation strategy for the impacted section of Clancy Creek.
DEQ analyzed the amendment to the reclamation plan under the Montana Environmental Policy Act and is issuing a Final Environmental Assessment and Decision Document on the project. In the Final Environmental Assessment, DEQ analyzed the potential impacts from the proposed amendment and alternatives to the project. The selected proposed action plan includes construction of a replacement stream channel to address the reclamation needs of Clancy Creek.
Today’s Final EA and Decision Document provide a public notice identifying DEQ’s decision, the reasons behind the decision, and any special conditions associated with the decision and its implementation. The Decision Document allows DEQ to begin the process of determining the corresponding bond for the updated reclamation plan.
DEQ appreciates the public’s participation in the Montana Tunnels project. The Final EA and Decision Document have been posted on DEQ's website at: http://deq.mt.gov/public/ea/hardrock