Posted: Jul 22, 2011 1:20 PM by Melissa Rafferty (KPAX News)
MISSOULA- Construction of Revett Mineral's proposed copper and silver mine beneath the Cabinet Mountains in northwestern Montana hits a roadblock.
Helena District Judge Kathy Seeley ruled the state improperly relied on a permitting shortcut under the Montana Water Quality Act.
The judge's decision focused on the large amounts of sediment that the Rock Creek mine would release into Rock Creek, a key spawning tributary for bull trout in the lower Clark Fork River.
Seeley held that under these conditions, the state was wrong to permit the mine under the generic "general permit" that covers ordinary construction activities.
The judge said the state must prepare an ordinary water quality permit based on the specific conditions at the mine site, and allow for public review.