The battle continues for anglers, conservationists, and recreationists as the proposed copper mine near the Smith River in Montana moves into a new phase. The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has received the final permit application from Tintina and is conducting their scoping period for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the proposed mine.
Tintina Resources must “prove beyond any doubt that their operation will produce no acid mine drainage or cause any environmental harm to the Smith River or its tributaries before the project is allowed to proceed.” The proposed mine threatens the pristine Smith with toxic heavy metals, nutrient pollution, and degradation of critical fish habitat. In 2016 the Smith River was named the fourth most endangered rivers in the United States, and today it’s still under threat. Now is the time for everyone who loves the Smith River to let their voices be heard.
Time is running out as the scoping period for the EIS lasts until 11/16/2017. Although Montana’s TU has asked the Governor for an extension to increase the amount of time, it’s unknown at this time whether that will be granted. Montana’s TU has also spearheaded the effort arranging public hearings.
What You Can Do:
While writing to express your opinion is always helpful, being at a public hearing, in person, will send a stronger message. There have even been talks about arranging buses from major cities to the hearings, but that has yet to be finalized.
There are three public hearings for citizens to weigh in on the project.
· Great Great Falls, MT - 10/30/2017
· White Sulphur Springs, MT - 11/1/2017
· Livingston, MT - 11/7/2017
A request has been made to add another date in Helena. However at this point, it’s unsure if the request will be granted. But by mid-week, there should be an update.
Please attend one of the public hearing to voice your opposition to the mine. The Smith River is too precious and treasured to gamble with – and only through a collective voice can we influence the final decision. Contact anyone at Yellow Dog to find out how to Save Our Smith.