DEQ Press Releases

Ponozzo, Kristi

Scoping meetings held for Environmental Impact Statement of proposed mine

DEQ asking for public comment to identify issues likely to involve significant impacts and possible alternatives

HELENA – The Montana Department of Environmental Quality is in the process of preparing an Environmental Impact Statement under the Montana Environmental Policy Act for the Black Butte Copper Project proposed by Tintina Montana.


The EIS will analyze the potential impacts of the proposed underground mine and serve as the MEPA review for other potential permits that may be issued by DEQ, including an air quality permit, a public water supply permit and a surface water discharge permit. It also lays out how the mining operation proposed in Tintina’s application complies with the Metal Mine Reclamation Act.


“This environmental review will be extensive and we take it very seriously,” said Director Tom Livers. “It will be a complex EIS and public input is an important piece of the process.”


The first phase in preparing an EIS is to determine the scope. DEQ is asking for comments from federal, tribal, state and local governments and interested persons and groups that help identify issues likely to involve significant impacts and possible alternatives to be considered in the EIS.


The scoping period will begin October 2, 2017, and end Thursday, November 16, 2017. The public scoping meetings will be held at the following locations, dates and times:


Great Falls Civic Center, 2 Park Drive South, Great Falls, Montana, on Monday, October 30th from 6:00 to 9:00 pm

White Sulphur Springs High School Gymnasium, 405 South Central Avenue, White Sulphur Springs, Montana, on Wednesday, November 1st from 6:00 to 9:00 pm.

Park County High School Gymnasium, 102 View Vista Drive, Livingston, Montana, on Tuesday, November 7th from 6:00 to 9:00 pm


Under current law, DEQ has one year from the issuance of the more detailed compliance document to complete an Environmental Impact Statement. DEQ has hired a contractor to assist in the preparation of the EIS.


Tintina Montana originally submitted its application for a mining permit in December 2015. DEQ responded to the application in March 2016, outlining the need for complete information on geochemical aspects and hydrology. Tintina provided follow-up information in September 2016 and DEQ issued a second deficiency response letter in December 2016. Tintina responded this May and DEQ issued a third deficiency letter with a response from Tintina in July. These responses provided DEQ complete information related to their geochemical testing and hydrologic modeling.


The permit application is available for the public to view at DEQ’s main office in Helena (1520 East 6th Avenue). The application may also be viewed by visiting DEQ’s website (


Scoping comments may be submitted at one of the public meetings, electronically (, or by postal mail to the following address:

Craig Jones

Department of Environmental Quality

P.O. Box 200901

Helena, MT 59620-0901


Questions on the environmental review may also be directed to Craig Jones electronically ( or 406-444-0514. Comments must be submitted to DEQ no later than November 16, 2017.


DEQ will not accept comments that are threatening, defamatory, libelous, slanderous, or discriminatory in nature. DEQ will make reasonable accommodations for those with disabilities who wish to participate in the meeting. If you require an accommodation, please contact Jeni Garcin at 406-444-6469 or:


For questions or to arrange an interview, please contact Kristi Ponozzo, Public Policy Director, Department of Environmental Quality, 406-444-2813 or by email at: 


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