By Alan Sorensen
HELENA State and federal officials will take public input on plans for reclaiming two Little Rocky Mountain mining areas for the next couple of months.
The Montana Department of Environmental Quality's Environ-mental Management Bureau (DEQ) and the Bureau of Land Manage-ment (BLM, Malta Field Office) have released the draft supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) for reclamation of the Zortman and Landusky mines. The Water Protection Bureau of DEQ has drafted a Montana Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (MPDES) permit for both the Zortman and Landusky mines. The draft permits have been incorporated into the SEIS as appendices. Public comments on the Draft SEIS and MPDES permits will be accepted until July 9, according to a news release issued today.
The Zortman and Landusky mines are located in the Little Rocky Mountains of north-central Montana, near the southern boundary of the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation in the southwest corner of Phillips County. Nearby towns include Hays, Lodgepole, Landusky and Zortman. The SEIS discusses six alternatives for reclamation at each mine site.
The project would include developing reclamation plans for the Zortman and Landusky mines which will successfully meet all applicable State and Federal requirements and provide a reasonable assurance of long-term success.
DEQ and BLM will host public meetings to take oral and written comments on the draft SEIS. The public meetings will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. in Lodgepole on June 5, Hays on June 6, and Landusky on June 7. The meeting in Lodgepole will be held at the Medicine Bear Lodge Senior Center; in Hays, the meeting will be held at the John Capture Center, and in Landusky, the meeting will be held at the Landusky School. Copies of the draft SEIS can be reviewed at the DEQ office at 1520 East 6th Ave. in Helena, or at the BLM offices in Lewistown or Malta. The draft SEIS will also be available on Friday on the BLM Montana Website at http://www.mt.blm.gov
Written comments should be sent to Zortman/Landusky Mine Reclamation Plan SEIS, c/o Bureau of Land Management Lewistown Field Office, PO Box 1160, Lewistown, MT 59457. Comments also may be sent electronically to: ZLReclamation_EIS@blm.gov. Please include your name and complete mailing address on all written comments.
For additional information, contact: Wayne Jepson, Permitting and Compliance Division, Department of Environmental Quality, P.O. Box 200901, Helena, MT 59620-0901. Phone (406) 444-0529 or e-mail at email@example.com or Scott Haight, BLM Lewistown Field Office, 80 Airport Rd., P.O. Box 1160, Lewistown, MT 59457. Phone (406) 538-1930 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org .