Montana Department of Environmental Quality About Us Permitting & Operator Assistance Public Participation

Coal Mining

Program Overview

The Coal Section is responsible for ensuring the reclamation of land affected by surface and underground mining activity and regulation of development of coal mines in order to maintain the integrity of Montana's natural resources.

Types of Permits & Approvals

The Coal Section reviews applications for several different types of activities related to coal mining. If you believe you need a permit, applicable forms and instructions can be found by clicking the "Permitting and Operator Assistance" button. Contact us if you have questions or run into problems with any of the information. We're here to help!

Notice of Intent

An operator files a Notice of Intent (NOI) with DEQ for the purpose of gathering environmental baseline data to establish the conditions of an area before beginning strip or underground mining, or to determine location, quality, and quantity of a mineral reserve prior to submitting an application for prospecting.


An operator files an application for prospecting permit with DEQ for land not already included in a current mine operating permit and if the prospecting is conducted for the purpose of determining location, quality, and quantity of a mineral reserve. This application must include a reclamation plan and bond.

Coal Mine Permitting

An operator files an application for surface or underground mining with DEQ prior to engaging in mining operations. The application must include information regarding climate, geology, hydrology, vegetation, etc as well as a detailed reclamation plan and bond.


Coal Mining Office Contacts

Section Supervisor
Robert Smith (406) 444-4967

Program Support Specialist
Sharona Gilbert (406) 444-4966



Pending Applications

The Coal Mining Program utilizes an electronic permitting system called the ePermit. The following revision types that have public comment periods for both completeness and acceptability can be submitted under this system: amendments, major revisions, and renewals. Bond release and transfers are still submitted outside of the system. Once approved, the revision remains available on the system until superseded by a new revision. To view both pending and approved applications that are available on the public portal click here:

Rosebud Coal Mine Area A

Major Revision TR3 (available on the ePermit Portal:
Bond Release SL15
Bond Release SL16

Rosebud Coal Mine Area B

Amendment AM5 (available on the ePermit Portal: *Due to being the initial entry into the ePermit system, AM5 shows as a Permit, no application number, and no current status
Bond Release SL16
Bond Release SL17
Bond Release SL18

Rosebud Coal Mine Area C

Bond Release SL18
Bond Release SL19

Rosebud Coal Mine Area D

Major Revision TR2 (available on the ePermit Portal:
Bond Release SL14
Bond Release SL15

Recent Actions & Approvals

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