In December 2015, the Kootenai National Forest (KNF) and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issued a Joint Final Environmental Impact Statement (Joint Final EIS) for the Montanore Project, a proposed copper and silver underground mine located about 18 miles south of Libby near the Cabinet Mountains of northwestern Montana. The KNF and DEQ issued a Draft EIS for the Montanore Project on February 27, 2009, for public comment. In response to public comment, the agencies revised the mine alternatives (Alternatives 3 and 4) and transmission line alignments (Alternatives C, D, and E) and issued a Supplemental Draft EIS on October 7, 2011. On April 1, 2015, the KNF issued a Final EIS and a Draft Record of Decision (ROD) to provide for a pre-decisional objection process in compliance with 36 CFR 218.
The Joint Final EIS included responses to comments on the Draft EIS and Supplemental Draft EIS and incorporated changes based on those responses. The Joint Final EIS also included revisions made as part of the Forest Service objection process. DEQ identified Mine Alternative 3 and Transmission Line Alternative D-R as its preferred alternatives in the Joint Final EIS.
The DEQ ROD documents DEQ’s decisions on the following: 1) the amendments to the provisions of Operating Permit No. 00150 pertaining to the Evaluation Phase of the Montanore Project to make those provisions consistent with Mine Alternative 3; 2) the Certificate of Compliance for the transmission line (Alternative D-R); and 3) the air quality permit for the Montanore Project. The Certificate of Compliance and the final decision on the air quality permit are included as attachments to the DEQ ROD.
Montanore 2016 ROD
Montanore MPDES Permit - Renewal (surface water discharge)
Joint Final Environmental Impact Statement
Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Montanore Project