Setting the record straight on HB 722

Print Article

I would like to provide some factual information about HB 722, a bill I am sponsoring this session, as it was the focus of a recent letter to the editor and was completely misrepresented.

HB 722 allows the transferring of a suspended hard rock mining permit to another entity as long as certain conditions are met. This bill requires that the person receiving the permit will need to meet all regulatory requirements such as the assumption of reclamation costs, conditions of the permit, and any additional bond that the Department of Environmental Quality imposes.

The bill also allows the DEQ to have the flexibility to hold a permit in suspension and use existing bond proceeds to abate any imminent danger to public health, public safety or the environment.

HB 722 is a bill that we hope the DEQ never has to use, because it means we have a mining company that is out of compliance with Montana’s regulatory requirements and has had its permit suspended as a result.

Rather than revoking the permit and requiring immediate reclamation work, HB 722 allows the state to hold the permit in suspension up to five years if a successor operator makes an application for the permit while still retaining the forfeited financial resources to take care of any imminent threat to the environment or human health during this time period.

It is also worth noting that this bill doesn’t mandate anything. The decision to use this flexibility resides with the DEQ, as it should.

— Rep. Steve Gunderson, District 1

Print Article

Read More Letters to the Editor

House Democratic leader legislative wrap-up

May 14, 2019 at 5:00 am | Western News Four months ago, as the newly-elected House Democratic leader for the 2019 Legislative Session, I made a promise to the people of Montana that Democrats would lead with solutions. Now that the legis...

Comments

Read More

Congressional appropriators: please fund farm bill programs

May 14, 2019 at 5:00 am | Western News The most recent farm bill was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump in December. However, simply enacting new legislation doesn’t mean Congress’ work is done. We now have to figur...

Comments

Read More

KNF has more than enough timber

May 14, 2019 at 5:00 am | Western News In the April 2 issue of the Western News, I was struck by the following quote from Barry Dexter, of Stimson Lumber Co, referring to the need for a “steady reliable flow of timber” to support a sawmil...

Comments

Read More

Daines supports improving rural broadband

May 14, 2019 at 5:00 am | Western News Without access to broadband internet, students are unable to keep up in the classroom, patients are denied the promise of telemedicine tools and rural businesses are locked out of the global economy....

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 293-4124
311 California Ave.
Libby, MT 59923

©2019 The Western News Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X