Environmental Impact Statements to Expand Mine Operations

Montana Department of Environmental Quality

Completing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to expand a mine operation

Having mined talc ore from Montana’s Regal Mine since 1972, Barretts Minerals, Inc. (BMI) had plans to expand the mine’s existing pit, increase the size of the waste rock disposal facility, and expand the water management system. To ensure compliance for BMI’s expansion, RESPEC prepared an EIS for the proposed amendment to BMI’s existing Mine Operating Permit. Our goal was to satisfy requirements of the Metal Mine Reclamation Act (MMRA), the Montana Environmental Policy Act (MEPA), and Montana Department of Environmental Quality (the lead regulatory agency).

By addressing key issues, including geotechnical resources, water rights, and surface-water and groundwater management, the RESPEC team was responsible for all aspects of the EIS, including project management, purpose and need development, alternative development and refinement, public scoping, preparing technical memoranda, maintaining the administrative record, writing and assembling the EIS text, compiling public comments, and analyzing impacts of alternatives. RESPEC’s resource specialists included experts in geology and geochemistry, groundwater and surface-water resources, geotechnical engineering, land use, socioeconomics, soils and reclamation, transportation, noise, hydrogeology, and aquatic resources.