Daines, Zinke Call on Governor Bullock to Issue Full Approval of the Montanore Project
U.S. CONGRESS – Senator Steve Daines and Representative Ryan Zinke are calling on Governor Steve Bullock and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) to expeditiously issue full approval for the Montanore Project, which would create much-needed jobs and economic opportunity in Lincoln County.
After more than a decade, the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Montanore project was recently completed, clearing the way for the U.S. Forest Service and MDEQ to issue Records of Decision approving of Montanore’s plan of operations and required permits.
MDEQ is considering a phased approval of the project, which would be inconsistent with the federal review, jeopardize investments in the project and create uncertainty surrounding the project and the jobs and tax revenue it would support.
In a letter, Daines and Zinke requested that Bullock strongly consider the benefits of a comprehensive approval for required MDEQ permits and expeditiously issue a full Record of Decision on the Montanore project.
“We urge you to consider the benefits of a comprehensive approval for all the required permits and the benefits of the Montanore project to the local Northwest Montana community and our state,” Daines and Zinke wrote. “Employing regulatory flexibility by your staff through a full permit approval will provide assurances the community and company require to move forward. The local community has waited a long time for the process to be completed. We respectfully request for you to prioritize this project and for MDEQ to issue a full ROD as expeditiously as possible so that this important project can proceed.”
Daines’ and Zinke’s letter is available HERE.
Daines has long worked with local, state and federal leaders to move forward the permitting process for the Montanore project. He toured the mine in August 2014 and has been in close consultation with local stakeholders regarding the status of the project.
At full production, the Montanore Project is expected to create full-time jobs for 450 people, with an annual payroll of $12 million during the production phase of operations.
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