DEQ Press Releases

Davin, Moira

Opencut Mining application for Helena-area gravel pit open for public comment

DEQ to hold a Public Meeting on Wed., Feb. 12, 2020

HELENA—The Montana Department of Environmental Quality is seeking public comment on an Opencut Mining permit application for a 61.5-acre site known as McHugh 2, located approximately two miles north of Helena in Lewis & Clark County. The permit application has been submitted by Valley Sand and Gravel, LLC.


DEQ will hold an open house and public meeting on the application the evening of Feb. 12, 2020, at the Helena Middle School. Interested persons planning to attend the meeting should be advised that the school doors will not be unlocked until 5 p.m. The meeting will begin with an informal open house at which specialists from DEQ and other state and local agencies will be available to answer questions. DEQ scientists will provide a short presentation on the application beginning at 6 p.m., after which interested persons will have an opportunity to ask questions of the panel of participants. The meeting will conclude with a formal public comment period from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.


DEQ is interested in hearing comments from as many people as possible in the time allotted. Therefore, attendees wishing to provide oral comments will be asked to sign up at the door and to limit their comments to three minutes or less. Commenters will be heard in the order in which they sign up. Written comments may also be submitted. All written and oral comments will be evaluated equally throughout the permitting process.


What: Public Meeting and Open House for the application of the proposed “McHugh 2” gravel mining operation

When: Feb. 12, 2020, 5—9 p.m.  (Open House, 5—5:45 p.m.; Question and Answer, 6—7:30 p.m.; and Public Comment, 7:30—9 p.m.)

Where:  Helena Middle School Auditorium, 1025 N. Rodney Street, Helena


The permit application may be viewed online at by entering “3088” in the “Opencut #” box and clicking the “Submit” button.  


DEQ must assess the application under a tight timeframe and is seeking relevant information from citizens with knowledge of local conditions. If comments received reveal substantial issues not adequately satisfied in the proposed Plan of Operation, DEQ may determine an extended review of the application is necessary. DEQ must make this determination by Feb. 26, 2020. Therefore, we recommend that interested persons submit written comments before  Feb. 21, 2020, to allow time for evaluation.


After the public meeting, written comments may be submitted by email using the “Public Comment for Valley Sand and Gravel, LLC— McHugh 2” link under “Opencut News” at, or by U.S. Mail addressed to the DEQ Opencut Mining Section, P.O. Box 200901, Helena, MT 59620-0901.


DEQ will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities who wish to participate in the public meeting and/or provide public comments. If you require an accommodation, please contact the DEQ Opencut Section at 406-444-4970 or by email at:

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