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


For the information about Environmental Permits for all state agencies check out the 21st Edition of the Montana Index of Environmental Permits guidebook published in 2018 by the Legislative Services Environmental Quality Council.

Permitting and Operator Assistance

G - Reference Documents
  1. U.S.D.A. Soil Conservation Service,1951 Soil Survey Manual - ARM 17.24.301(114)
  2. U.S.D.A Soil Conservation Service, National Soils Handbook - ARM 17.24.301(115)
  3. U.S.D.A. Soil Conservation Service, Soil Taxonomy (Handbook 436) - ARM 17.24.301(115)
  4. U.S.D.A. Soil Conservation Service, Technical Release No. 60 (Earth Dams and Reservoirs) - ARM 17.24.642(1)(f)
  5. U.S.D.A. Soil Conservation Service, Pond 378 - ARM 17.24.642(1)(f)
  6. 40 CFR Part 136, Guidelines Establishing Test Procedures for the Analysis of Pollutants - ARM 17.24.645(6)
  7. Montana DEQ, Montana Numeric Water Quality Standards, Circular WQB-7- ARM 17.24.645(6)
  8. 40 CFR Part 434, Coal Mining Point Source Category BPT, PAT, PCT Limitations and New Source Performance Standards - ARM 17.24.646(6)
  9. U.S.D.A. Soil Conservation Service, Land Capability Classification for Montana - ARM 17.24.746
  10. Maas and Hoffman, Crop Salt Tolerance-Current Assessment - ARM 17.24.806(1)
  11. 30 CFR 761.16 - ARM 17.24.1133(3)
H - Public Notice Examples
A - Operating Permit
  1. Rock Products Application Packet Zip
    For New Permit and Major Amendment applications for Rock Product operations. See Rock Products Application Cover letter for requirements for a rock products operating permit. 
    1. Rock Products Application Cover Letter
    2. Rock Products Application
    3. Operating Permit Application
    4. Permit Application Flow Chart
    5. Major Amendment Flow Chart
    6. Hard Rock & Placer Mining Requirements
    7. Additional Approvals
  2. Hard Rock (Non Rock Products) Application Packet Zip
    For New Permit and Major Amendment applications for operations that do not meet the requirements for a rock products operating permit. 
    1. Hard Rock Cover Letter
    2. Hard Rock Application
    3. Operating Permit Application
    4. Permit Application Flow Chart
    5. Major Amendment Flow Chart
    6. Hard Rock & Placer Mining Requirements
    7. Additional Approvals
  3. Revision Forms
    1. Revision Form
    2. Example Revision Application
  4. Renewal Forms
    1. Annual Renewal Form
  5. Annual Renewal Forms for Multi-site Permits Zip
    1. Annual Renewal Form for Multi-Site Permits
    2. Spreadsheet for Multi-Site Permit Renewal
  6. Annual Fee Online Payment Instructions
    1. Electronic Operating Permit Fee Payment
D - Bond Forms

Please contact the Permit License Technician at 444-4953 for the bond instrument forms.

  1.  Reclamation Bond Requirements - PDF
E - Other Government Requirements/Guidelines

Additional guidelines or permit requirements associated with hard rock mining from other government entities

  1. Sage Grouse Advisory
  2. Exploration and Mining on State Lands/School Trust - Department of Natural Resources Trust Lands Management
  3. Mining Claims on Federal Land - Bureau of Land Management Montana/Dakotas
  4. DEQ Water Protection Bureau - MPDES/Storm Water Permits
  5. USDA Forest Service
  6. US Army Corps of Engineers

UPDATE - Forms have all been updated with a date of 10/22 in the footer.

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

Request for Pre-Application Meeting

DEQ strongly recommends Operators request a meeting before submitting an application. In response, an Opencut scientist will contact the Operator and schedule a visit to provide guidance on the application process and recommendations on the proposed Opencut operation. Activities within or adjacent to designated sage grouse habitats require consultation with the Montana Sage Grouse Habitat Conservation Program. The DEQ Sage Grouse Advisory is also a source of information.

  1. Request for Pre-Application Meeting
A - Instructional Documents

These guidance documents may provide additional assistance for permitting activities:

  1. Which Permit do I Need?
  2. Electronic Submittal of Opencut Documents
  3. Electronic Application Fee Payment Instructions 
C - Bond Forms
The most updated bonds are dated 2023, with the exception of the Property Bond form. As of January 31, 2024, Opencut will require all new bonds and riders to be on 2023 forms and will not be accepting older versions.
D - Liability or Bond Release Request Form

Upon Completion of Reclamation, use the following form to request Liability or Bond Release:

  1. Phase I Release Request
  2. Phase II Release Request
F - Other Forms
G - Guidelines

The following documents provide technical guidance for Opencut permitting process:

  1. Map Guideline
  2. Seed Mix Guideline
  3. Soil Guideline
  4. Wash Plant Settling Pond Guideline
H - Worksheets

Use these worksheets to help you in the Opencut permitting process:

  1. Determining Depth to Groundwater Worksheet
  2. Pond and Wetland Design Worksheet
  3. Stream/Waterway Worksheet

Click here to go to rules page.