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

Opencut Mining

Program Overview

The Opencut Section reviews permit and amendment applications within its statutory timeframe to ensure Opencut minerals (bentonite, clay, scoria, soil materials, peat, sand or gravel) are extracted in accordance with the act and rules to ensure adequate protection of environmental resources and successful reclamation of the affected land back to a productive post-mining land use.

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!


Opencut Permits & Locations

To review the permit for an existing Opencut site, click the button below to visit DEQ's data portal where you can search Opencut permits.

Search Opencut Permits

Permitted Opencut site locations may be viewed using DEQ's web mapping application. Click the button below to view the map. If you experience issues viewing the application, it may help to try a different browser. For information on how to use the application, please view the instructional video, How to Use Opencut's Web Mapping Application.

View Permitted Opencut Locations

 


Latest News

The next Opencut Stakeholders Meeting is scheduled for January 17, 2023.

We will be meeting in person in Room 45 of the Metcalf building at 1pm on January 17, 2023 and will have a Zoom call-in option for those unable to attend in person.

For a copy of the Agenda click here.

For a copy of the Pending Bond Release Request list click here.

 

Zoom Webinar Information:

Please click the link below to join the webinar:

https://mt-gov.zoom.us/j/84950586838?pwd=U1FQaHQvYXRJTnh1NXRHOWVGODJZZz09 

Passcode: 825431

Or One tap mobile :

 US: +12063379723 84950586838# *825431# or +12133388477 84950586838# *825431#

Or Telephone:

 Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):

  US: +1 206 337 9723 or +1 213 338 8477 or +1 646 558 8656

Webinar ID: 849 5058 6838

Passcode: 825431

 

Annual Production Reports (APR) for 2022 were mailed January 3, 2023.

2022 APR's will be due March 1, 2023.

The Notice of Adoption and Amendment of Opencut Mining rules was published in the Montana Administrative Register (MAR) Issue 19 on October 7th, 2022. The Notice of Adoption and Amendment of Opencut Mining rules can be found on pages 47-55.

The Notice (MAR Notice 17-425) can be found at the following link: https://rules.mt.gov/gateway/ShowNoticeFile.asp?TID=11154

The Notice of Adoption and Amendment of the Opencut Mining rules addresses comments received by DEQ during the public comment period for the proposed rules that lasted from July 8th through August 8th, 2022, and during a public meeting held by DEQ on August 8th, 2022.

The Opencut Mining rules were updated on the Secretary of State’s website on October 7th, 2022.

Updated forms reflecting changes to the rules will be uploaded to the DEQ Opencut Mining website by close of business on October 11th. DEQ Opencut will continue to accept older forms until November 10th, 2022, after which operators and applicants will be required to submit documents to DEQ on the new forms.

Opencut Mining Contacts

Section Supervisor
Whitney Bausch (406) 444-3403

Unit Coordinator
J.J. Conner (406) 444-4979

Bond Questions/Program Support Specialist
Jennifer Skartveit (406) 444-4936

Program Support Specialist - Kalispell
Elizabeth Smith (406) 755-8965

Reclamation Specialist
Kenley Stone (406) 444-6726

Reclamation Specialist
Bryan Allison (406) 444-4969

Reclamation Specialist
Carly Russell (406) 444-4796

Reclamation Specialist
Ruby Hopkins (406) 444-7444

 

Updates

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Public Comment Sites

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is seeking public comment on a draft Environmental Assessment for an opencut mining permit application to mine gravel on a 157.1-acre site, known as the Marvin Rehbein site, located within the Flathead Reservation near Arlee in Lake County, Mont. The opencut permit application has been submitted by Riverside Contracting, Inc.

DEQ is accepting public comments on the draft Environmental Assessment until February 24, 2023. Public engagement is important and public comments are the most effective way to provide input. DEQ seeks substantive comments to inform its decision-making. A substantive comment could be one that identifies an issue, alternative or a resource that should be examined further. DEQ does not base its decisions on a count or tally of how many comments are for or against the project or how many times a certain issue or alternative is brought up. Comments may be submitted electronically or by mail.

To view the associated documents visit Workbook: Opencut_P (mt.gov) and enter 3415 in the Opencut # field, then click on the EA Document link.

To submit comment electronically click here.

A copy of the draft Environmental Assessment is also available at the Jocko Valley Library.

The Opencut Section has received a complete Permit Application for Riverside Contracting, Inc. – Donnes site – 3077 in Yellowstone County. The application can be viewed at https://searchopencutpermits.mt.gov/ by entering 'Donnes' in the 'Site Name' box and clicking 'Submit' or by entering '3077' in the 'Opencut#' box and clicking: 'Submit'

Comments will be accepted for this site throughout the permitting process. To submit a public comment click here. Thank you for taking the time to comment on this application.

 

The Opencut Section has received a complete Standard Permit Application for Riverside Contracting Inc - Marvin Rehbein - 3415 in Lake County. The application can be viewed at https://searchopencutpermits.mt.gov/ by entering 'Marvin Rehbein' in the 'Site Name' box and clicking 'Submit' or by entering '3415' in the 'Opencut#' box and clicking: 'Submit'

Comments will be accepted for this site throughout the permitting process. To submit a public comment click here. Thank you for taking the time to comment on this application.

The Opencut Section has received a complete Standard Amendment Application for Bohrnsen Ranches Inc. - Bohrnsen - 1951 in Granite County. The application can be viewed at https://searchopencutpermits.mt.gov/ by entering 'Bohrnsen' in the 'Site Name' box and clicking 'Submit' or by entering '1951' in the 'Opencut#' box and clicking: 'Submit'

Comments will be accepted for this site throughout the permitting process. To submit a public comment click here. Thank you for taking the time to comment on this application.

The Opencut Section has received a complete Standard Permit Application for Miller Colony, Inc. - Miller Colony Gravel Pit - 3341 in Teton County. The application can be viewed at https://searchopencutpermits.mt.gov/ by entering 'Miller Colony Gravel Pit' in the 'Site Name' box and clicking 'Submit' or by entering '3341' in the 'Opencut#' box and clicking: 'Submit'

Comments will be accepted for this site throughout the permitting process. To submit a public comment click here. Thank you for taking the time to comment on this application.

The Opencut Section has received a complete Standard Permit Application for Knife River - Hodgson - 3471 in Flathead County. The application can be viewed at https://searchopencutpermits.mt.gov/ by entering 'Hodgson' in the 'Site Name' box and clicking 'Submit' or by entering '3471' in the 'Opencut#' box and clicking: 'Submit'

Comments will be accepted for this site throughout the permitting process. To submit a public comment click here. Thank you for taking the time to comment on this application.

The Opencut Section has received a complete Amendment Application for Daniel J. Vogel - Hereford - 1764 in Sanders County. The application can be viewed at https://searchopencutpermits.mt.gov/ by entering 'Hereford' in the 'Site Name' box and clicking 'Submit' or by entering '1764' in the 'Opencut#' box and clicking: 'Submit'

Comments will be accepted for this site throughout the permitting process. To submit a public comment click here. Thank you for taking the time to comment on this application.

The Opencut Section has received a complete Amendment Application for Knife River - Biggerstaff - 1395 in Yellowstone County. The application can be viewed at https://searchopencutpermits.mt.gov/ by entering 'Biggerstaff' in the 'Site Name' box and clicking 'Submit' or by entering '1395' in the 'Opencut#' box and clicking: 'Submit'

Comments will be accepted for this site throughout the permitting process. To submit a public comment click here. Thank you for taking the time to comment on this application.

The Opencut Section has received a complete Standard Permit Application for Riverside Contracting, Inc. - Harmon - 3478 in Golden Valley County. The application can be viewed at https://searchopencutpermits.mt.gov/ by entering 'Harmon' in the 'Site Name' box and clicking 'Submit' or by entering '3478' in the 'Opencut#' box and clicking: 'Submit'

Comments will be accepted for this site throughout the permitting process. To submit a public comment click here. Thank you for taking the time to comment on this application.

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