DEQ Press Releases

Driscoll, Paul

DEQ Reopens Public Comment Period for Montanore Water Discharge Permit

Helena – The Montana Department of Environmental Quality is reopening the public comment period on the draft Montana Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit renewal for the Montanore Project, a proposed copper-silver mine near Libby. This is a renewal of Montanore’s existing discharge permit.

“We received substantial comments on the draft permit during the public comment period in October, 2015,” said DEQ Deputy Director George Mathieus. “In response to comments, DEQ is making changes to the draft MPDES permit and reopening the comment period.”

The draft MPDES permit is for the discharge of treated adit water at three existing outfalls and for the discharge of storm water from four new storm water-only outfalls. The draft permit updates the effluent limits at the existing outfalls and establishes effluent limits for the new outfalls. It also requires the facility to develop and maintain a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan that includes establishing Best Management Practices to further control or eliminate discharges of storm water. Lastly, the draft permit requires monitoring and reporting of the effluent discharges, the storm water discharges, and the ambient upstream conditions in Libby Creek.

A draft wastewater discharge permit, fact sheet, and the department’s tentative determination are available on the DEQ website at: and at the DEQ Metcalf Building in Helena.

DEQ will accept public comments any time before the close of business on May 18, 2016. Comments should be sent to DEQ Water Protection Bureau, PO Box 200901, Helena, MT 59620 or by email to:

The DEQ will respond to all substantive comments and issue a final decision as soon as possible thereafter.

DEQ’s Record of Decision, the Joint Final Environmental Impact Statement, and other documents for the Montanore Project are available at:

Kristi Ponozzo
DEQ Public Policy Director
(406) 444-2813

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