Montana groups push for further restrictions on mining with ballot initiative
May 15, 2018
Several Montana news sources reported that mining-related state ballot initiative, I-186, has been approved by the Montana Secretary of State and could appear on voter ballots soon if enough signatures are gathered by environmental groups.
I-186 would require continuous reclamation of mining operations, reclamation completion within two years, "reclamation of all disturbed land to comparable utility and stability as that of adjacent areas," mitigation of "postreclamation visual contrasts," and prohibit those operations where the treatment of wastewater might be required beyond the mine's closure.
The bill would apply to new mines and any existing mines that apply for an amendment to their current operating plan in Montana. (Nearly every large, existing operation—like the Stillwater mine—will need to apply for an amendment at some stage, so all existing mines will be impacted.)
Environmental groups are planning to hold several rallies at local breweries over the next two days. There will be a rally at 10 Mile Creek Brewery in Helena on Wednesday, May 16, at 12:15. Helena Mayor Wilmot Collins is scheduled to speak in support of I-185.
Another rally is scheduled for Wednesday, May 16, at 6pm at the Big Sky Brewing Company in Missoula.
If you plan to attend in support of mining, please keep in mind that your actions and words will be used to judge all miners in the industry.