Because I Can Only Fit So Much Into One Post: DEQ Redux

by jhwygirl

I noticed KPAX covered DEQ’s – or should I say Montana’s – woes in last night’s 10 o’clock news coverage. Good for them. ‘Bout time some local media start taking notice over these environmental issues. KPAX is underrated, I think. They do the very best fire coverage, and they catch some stuff that you won’t see on KECI.

If you missed my last post on DEQ, DEQ in Disgrace, you need to go back and read it. Like the title above says, there is only so much I can fit into one post.

With that being said, here are two items I missed:

Four conservation groups are suing DEQ to stop the Rock Creek Mine, a silver-and-copper mine proposed for the Cabinet Wilderness. DEQ is saying that no water quality permit needs to be issued, and the groups are saying that it endangers sensitive bull trout. DEQ attorney John North declined to comment, while Revett Minerals Inc. Vice-President Carson Rife says that the suit is “baseless.” This apparently isn’t the first lawsuit to stop the mine – according to the Billings Gazette, “lawsuits are piling up.”

Two other environmental groups filed suit against the DEQ earlier this month (gee, isn’t it only the 14th!?), charging that and air quality permit issued for a coal-fired plant in Great Falls isn’t limiting greenhouse gas emissions. The plant is being developed by Southern Montana Electric Generation and Transmission. Pete did a previous post on this very plant here.

That’s a tough one, folks. I hate coal – I think we should be moving far away from carbon-based fuels, and, besides that, isn’t there a whole bunch of wind up there in Great Falls? The plant, though, will be owned and operated right here in Montana. The electricity it generates will be used here. BUT, DEQ does have a job to do. Air and water, guys – DO YOUR JOB. GET IT RIGHT. If you had, you wouldn’t be getting sued. At the very least, you’d of involved the public enough that you wouldn’t be sitting in this situation.

Beyond that, isn’t Great Falls going to get a coal gasification plant up there by the air base? That would be exempt from any state rules – and hell, it might even be exempt under federal regulatory authority. Coal plants are bad ju-ju for the lungs, folks. It’s no wonder people in Great Falls are speaking out.

Speaking of speaking out: Electric City Weblog, BTW, has been doing some excellent stuff on this issue, right out of ground central, the City of Great Falls.

That’s the short of it…I’m going to have to go back and retag all my old posts on water quality and septic permits and gravel pits with “DEQ” – 4&20 is turning into a DEQ clearinghouse.

  1. Amperatt

    The DEQ is right about the Rock Creek Mine. It is an incredibly environmentally sensitive underground operation that will treat the water twice and leave the site fully reclaimed. These lawsuits are typical, frivolous suits led by obstructionist groups.

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