Bigger bonds for some Montana mines spurs debate

Smith River
Photo: Forest Service Northern Region

A bill at the Montana Legislature that would increase the amount of bonding required for certain mines where acid mine drainage is possible is opposed by mining interests and backed by fly-fishing businesses and environmental groups.

House Bill 593, sponsored by Rep. Nate McConnell, D-Missoula, was heard Monday in the House Natural Resources Committee, prompting opposing testimony on the need.

Prior to Monday’s hearing, McConnell said the aim of the bill is to protect the Smith River from the proposed Black Butte copper mine planned near Sheep Creek, a tributary of the Smith River, 17 miles north of White Sulphur Springs.

LINK (via: Great Falls Tribune)

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