Montana Environmental Information Center

Clean and healthful. It's your right, our mission.

Help Stop the Fossil Fuel Bonanza in Montana

Coal Mining Companies Want to Mine 215 Million Tons of Coal in Montana, Equivalent to The Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Over 92 million Passenger Vehicles Driven for One Year. Meanwhile, EPA Wants to Deregulate Toxic Coal Ash Disposal for Coal Companies. Coincidence?

We need you to tell Government Agencies to Protect Public Health, Not Polluters

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BIG Opportunity for Climate Action April 18th

For the first time ever, NorthWestern Energy is hosting a public meeting regarding its long-term energy plan (officially called a Resource Procurement Plan). This important plan helps guide the utility when deciding where to get its energy from over the next 20 years. We need you to attend and tell NorthWestern you want more clean energy – not fossil fuels! Read More →

24 Hours to Fight Huge Coal Mine Expansion

Contact OSM

This petition is now closed.

End date: Apr 11, 2018

Signatures collected: 297

297 signatures

The Trump Administration is proposing to expand the Bull Mountain coal mine north of Billings, and has released an environmental assessment (EA). If allowed to move forward, this expansion would result in 176 million additional tons of coal being mined, and make it the largest underground coal mine in the United States. For numerous reasons, the environmental assessment is flawed and does not account for the true cost of coal. We need you to take a few minutes, and contact the Federal Office of Surface Mining, and tell it that the EA must be rejected in its current form, as it doesn’t reflect the myriad problems with this terrible proposal.

Increased coal mining and its subsequent combustion will contribute to the climate crisis. Further, the coal train traffic generated by this proposal will increase air pollution, which will impact the lung health of adults and children in Montana and globally. Currently, clean and renewable energy technology exists that could dramatically reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. Unfortunately, OSM did not adequately take these facts into consideration.

Please take a few minutes, and tell OSM to reject the EA in its current form.

Citizens Hearing: Speak Out Against Massive Coal Mine Expansion

Thank you everyone who made it out to the Citizens Hearing on February 15th in Missoula. If you were unable to attend and would still like to submit comments please use the following DEQ webform to do so. 

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Give Trump a Piece of Your Mind on Climate Change

The landmark Clean Power Plan requires coal-fired power plants to reduce carbon pollution in order to do our part to solve the climate crisis. Now, the Trump Administration is trying to eliminate the hallmark Obama Era rule on climate change.
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Tell Bullock and DEQ to Halt Unlawful, Destructive Mining in Wilderness

Contact Bullock and the DEQ

Dear Governor Bullock and Director Livers

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When Pegasus Gold declared bankruptcy in 1998, it left the public with the bill for tens of millions of dollars in reclamation costs at the company’s abandoned Zortman-Landusky, Beal Mountain, and Basin Creek Mines—cyanide heap-leach gold mines that severely polluted the surrounding land and will require expensive water treatment forever. The Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Pegasus leading right up to the bankruptcy was a mining executive named Phillips S. Baker, Jr.

Because of Pegasus’ reckless actions, in 2001 the Republican controlled legislature and Governor Judy Martz expanded the “bad actor” provisions of the state’s hard-rock mining act. That provision now prohibits companies that fail to clean up their mines and those companies’ top executives from undertaking new mining projects in Montana unless and until they pay back the state, with interest, for the costs of cleaning up their old messes and ensure that their abandoned mines are fully reclaimed.

The message of the bad actor law is simple and fair: if you fail to reclaim a mine in our state as the law requires, you can’t come back to Montana and turn a profit from new mining projects unless you clean up and pay up for the past damage you caused.

But now, Idaho-based Hecla mining company has permits to begin developing two large mines directly underneath the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness in Northwest Montana, known as the Rock Creek and Montanore mines, and the general public is now worried about safety which is why they’re partnering with legal representation similar to this myrtle beach car accident attorney. And guess who is now the President and CEO of Hecla mining? Phillips S. Baker, Jr.

We urgently need you to contact Governor Bullock and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and request that they suspend the authorizations for the Rock Creek and Montanore Mines under the bad actor law.

The top leadership of Pegasus should not be allowed to profit from new mines while Montana communities continue to suffer from the pollution Pegasus left behind and Montana taxpayers continue to pay to clean up Pegasus’ messes.

It’s time to draw a line in the sand. Take a few minutes, contact Governor Bullock and the DEQ, and request that they immediately suspend the permits for Rock Creek and Montanore.

Speak up for our Smith River!

Contact the DEQ

This petition is now closed.

End date: Nov 17, 2017

Signatures collected: 330

330 signatures

Montana is renowned for its pristine rivers, wild trout, and spectacular scenery. But the Smith River tops the list. It’s the only river in Montana that requires a permit because the public demand to experience this extraordinary place is so high.

A foreign owned mining company wants to build a copper sulfide mine at the headwaters, putting this river at risk from long-term water pollution, particularly acid mine drainage – which is highly toxic to fish.

The State of Montana is taking public comment until Nov. 16 on the scope of issues that should be considered in the environmental review. It’s urgent that you take a few minutes, and tell the Montana DEQ that it needs to conduct a rigorous review of the long-term harm that threatens our Smith River!

A small Canadian company, Tintina Resources, has partnered with Australian mining firm Sandfire Resources and applied to develop a large copper mine directly adjacent to and underneath Sheep Creek at the headwaters of the Smith River in central Montana. The project, known as the Black Butte Copper Mine, is located approximately 20 miles north of White Sulphur Springs in central Montana.

The proposed mine is particularly a concern because the mine will have to dig into sulfide minerals which, when exposed to air and water, can react to form sulfuric acid in a process known as acid mine drainage. Acid mine drainage is highly toxic to fish and other aquatic life.

Tintina is also planning a major expansion from its original application materials. Tintina has purchased thousands of acres of additional mineral interests in the Smith River basin, stretching from its original project proposal to the west, and much closer to the Smith River. This expansion could turn the west side of the Little Belt Mountains into an industrialized area.

Groundwater pumping from mining activities could potentially lower the water table, and create a “cone of depression” that extends to the Sheep Creek alluvium – posing a threat to adjacent stream flows. The Smith River, and Sheep Creek, already suffer from low flows during most years, putting pressure on downstream water users and preventing the fishery from reaching its potential.

Groundwater that is captured in the underground mine workings will contain arsenic and other toxic substances that pose a serious threat to water quality.

Please take a few minutes, and tell the Montana DEQ that it needs to conduct a rigorous review of the long-term harm that threatens our Smith River!

24 Hours to Stop Montana Coal Exports!

Contact Washington State Officials

This petition is now closed.

End date: Jul 28, 2017

Signatures collected: 326

326 signatures

Lighthouse Resources, the owner of a massive coal strip mine in Montana, wants to open North America’s largest coal export facility in Washington State. If built, this port would handle enough coal that when burned would generate up to 88 million tons of additional C02 pollution every year, equivalent to the discharges from 18 million passenger vehicles driven for one year. Lighthouse Resources is currently seeking a water pollution permit from the Washington Department of Ecology (WDE) that would allow the project to move forward. We need you to take a few minutes, and tell WDE to deny the permit and to stop this project.

Since its inception, Lighthouse Resources’ proposal to build the Millennium Bulk Terminal export facility has drawn unprecedented opposition. Over 250,000 public comments have flooded in opposing the project. One or more of those comments were likely from you. Thank you!

But Lighthouse Resources is determined to move forward with this terrible proposal, and we need you to speak out once again. A recent environmental review of the project found that the increase in coal train traffic would have significant and unavoidable impacts on public health, the environment, and the climate.

Please tell the Washington Department of Ecology to deny Lighthouse Resources’ application for a pollution permit today.