HELENA, Mont. (AP) — An environmental organization is asking a review board to reject a permit that would allow the expansion of a coal mine in the Bull Mountains.
The Montana Environmental Information Center says the state Department of Environmental Quality's decision to issue the permit to Signal Peak Energy was flawed.
The group says the 7,100-acre expansion's effect on the groundwater would threaten long-term economic and environmental harm to homes and ranches beyond the mine. The group says DEQ failed to consider whether water quality standards would be violated and whether the expansion is designed prevent damage outside the mining area.
Signal Peak says the DEQ's review was thorough and correctly concluded that any groundwater degradation will be limited to within or very near the mine's boundaries.
The review board takes up the appeal on Friday.