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DEQ Releases Record of Decision and Written Findings for a Proposed Mine Amendment to the Rosebud Coal Mine

  • Moira Davin
  • May 27 2022

HELENA— The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has issued its Record of Decision and rationale approving the fifth amendment (project) to the operating permit for Area B at the Rosebud Mine, an existing surface coal mine near Colstrip, Mont. The Rosebud Mine is operated by Westmoreland Rosebud Mining, LLC. The fifth amendment includes additional acres for mining activities.

With this decision, 9,108 acres will be added to the existing Area B permit area. The Area B operations plan and reclamation plan have been updated to include additional mine passes and reclamation in the existing permit area.

DEQ is responsible for administrating the Montana Strip and Underground Mine Reclamation Act (MSUMRA) and the implementing rules adopted under MSUMRA. The permitting decision before DEQ was to make a decision under its MSUMRA authority.

Today’s Record of Decision is a public notice identifying DEQ’s decision, the reasons for the decision and special conditions surrounding the decision, and its implementation. The Record of Decision is based on information provided by Westmoreland Rosebud Mining, LLC in its application, the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), the Final EIS, the Written Findings, and the Cumulative Hydrologic Impact Assessment (CHIA). The CHIA includes an analysis of impacts on the hydrologic balance and an assessment of the Probable Hydrologic Consequences of the proposed project. 

During the application review, and to address public comments on the Draft EIS, DEQ determined that mining in certain areas of the project would potentially cause material damage to Rosebud Creek. As a result, those areas were removed from the proposed action to protect Rosebud Creek.

DEQ appreciates the public’s participation in the Westmoreland Rosebud Mining, LLC Area B Amendment 5 project. The Record of Decision has been posted on DEQ's website at:

Tags: Press Release, mining and Coal