FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb 21, 2014
Permitting and Compliancence
DEQ Releases Final Environmental Impact Statement for Proposed Garnet Mine
Helena – The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) today released its Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for an application by Garnet USA to amend their existing permit for mining garnet ore at an open pit mine approximately 4.5 miles southeast of Alder, Montana.
The Final EIS describes the land, people, and resources potentially affected by the proposed mining activities, and it incorporates agency responses to public comments and any updated information on the alternatives under consideration.
After weighing a number of alternatives, including denial of the project, DEQ sets forth specific protections for land and water near the proposed site in the EIS. It also recommends routing for ore haul trucks to reduce potential traffic conflicts.
“This plan sets forth some common-sense measures Garnet must undertake to make sure the project meets the needs of the surrounding community,” said DEQ Director Tracy Stone-Manning.
The agency-approved plan will require Garnet USA to include more groundwater monitoring at the mine site and the Alder Gulch processing plant. While no impacts are expected, the company will also be required to analyze for nitrates in surface and groundwater. This measure will allow a comparison of current and future water quality near the Alder Gulch processing plant site.
DEQ’s final decision will be released in a record of decision in early March.
Substantive public comments informed DEQ’s final EIS, which is available on the DEQ website at: http://deq.mt.gov/eis.mcpx. Members of the public can contact Jeffrey Herrick, DEQ MEPA Coordinator at 406-444-3276 to learn more about the project.
Summary of the Red Wash Hard Rock Site Project
Garnet USA currently has an operating permit for a processing facility and mining of nearby dredge tails and an additional placer mine site (Red Wash Alluvial Mine Site). Highway 287, Anderson Lane and ranch roads would be used to access the site. Ore from the new mine site would be hauled on the same road used under the existing operating permit. The estimated life of this mine site is 37 years producing 50,000 tons of industrial garnet output per year.
DEQ made the Garnet USA Draft EIS (DEIS) available to the public on September 29, 2013 and the comment period ended on October 31, 2013.
Permitting Public Information Officer
DEQ Communications Director
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