Contacting the DEQ

NOTE: The DEQ is no longer accepting comments from the public on the Donnes Site. A Deficiency Letter has been issued. Riverside Contracting has the following options:

  1. Submit revised application materials that resolve all deficiencies, and after DEQ’s review confirms the application is acceptable, the permit will be issued;

  2. Submit revised application materials that do not resolve all deficiencies, and after DEQ’s review determines the application is not yet acceptable, it will be disapproved and a new Deficiency Notice will be issued; or

  3. Do not submit revised application materials, and 1 year after the date of DEQ’s latest Deficiency Notice the application will be abandoned and void unless requested information is provided within 30 days.

Riverside Contracting may appeal DEQ’s decision to the Board of Environmental Review by submitting a written request to the board within 30 days of July 25th, 2019.

The permit Riverside Contracting filed with the Montana DEQ has many deficiencies, some that break Montana law. It is very important that you look through the permit and identify the deficiencies that will impact you. When you find a portion of the permit that is inaccurate, incorrect, or that you think is against Montana law, PLEASE CONTACT MONTANA DEQ WITH THAT INFORMATION! To submit a public comment click here or you can send an email to DEQOpencut@mt.gov and use the subject line “Public Comment for Riverside Contracting, Inc. - Donnes Site Gravel Pit - Opencut #3077.” Make sure to use a respectful but concerned tone. Highlight the portion of the permit that is deficient and tell the DEQ how that could impact you.

In 2017, Riverside Contracting was found to have 14 pages of deficiencies for an open pit application near Emigrant, Montana. There are MANY similar deficiencies with the Donnes Site. The deficiencies for the Emigrant Site are listed below:

Click here for the Emigrant Deficiency Letter

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Example of Deficiency

This Montana Well Log Report in the Permit has been altered (in red). The location in red is not even on the correct property. It is the duty of the operator to reasonably provide well locations. This is a deficiency that will impact people’s drinking water.

 
 

Where to look for deficiencies:

The Permit is broken up into sections. Each section refers to Montana Law. Please look through the permit and see if you find any discrepancies with the information provided. If you find something that you feel is inaccurate, incorrect, or illegal, please submit a public comment by clicking here or send an email to DEQOpencut@mt.gov and use the subject line “Public Comment for Riverside Contracting, Inc. - Donnes Site Gravel Pit - Opencut #3077.”

Click here for a copy of the Donnes Site Permit


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Section A is for general information. It states what the permit is about and what the mine will do. Here are some things to look for in Section A.

  • Section A1, page 3 - Types of material to be mined, equipment to be used, acreage to be mined, and total material to be extracted. If you feel any of this information is inaccurate, incorrect, or illegal, please refer to Section A1 in your public comment.


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Section B is about the property before the mine goes in. Here are some things to look for in Section B.

  • B1 - Location and Description of the site might be inaccurately recorded in the permit.

  • B2 - Description of the surrounding land might be inaccurately recorded in the permit.

  • B3 - What the land and surrounding land is used for might be inaccurately recorded in the permit.

  • B4 - What structures are on the property might be inaccurately recorded in the permit.

  • B5 - The water features listed on the property might be inaccurately recorded in the permit. If you believe so, please request a study of the water features by an independent researcher.

  • B6 - The vegetation listed on the property might be inaccurately recorded in the permit. If you believe so, please request a study of the vegetation by an independent researcher.

  • B7 - The wildlife listed on the property might be inaccurately recorded in the permit. If you believe so, please request a study of the wildlife by an independent researcher.

  • B8 - The well locations, depths, use, and static water level might be inaccurately recorded in the permit. If you believe so, please request all well information be confirmed by an independent party. Additionally, well locations may have been fraudulently changed from official Montana Well Log Report to inaccurate locations.

  • B9 - The permit states all well sites have been field verified despite inaccurate locations. The permit also states there are no wells within 1000 feet of the property. This might be inaccurately recorded in the permit. If you believe so, please request a study of the well data by an independent researcher.


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Section C is about prepping the property and planning for mining. Here are some things to look for in Section C.

  • C1 - The water table (high and low levels of ground water) listed on the property might be inaccurately recorded in the permit. If you believe so, please request a study of the underground water table by an independent researcher.

  • C1 - The difference in the high water table and the mine depth is -13 feet. This means the mine will be 13 ft below the high water level. State law states that the operator must include pond or wetland as a post-mining land use and the operator must complete Section E2-2 and Section 3. The permit may have not fully completed these sections. If you believe so, please request a detailed explanation of the reclamation process that follows Montana law.

  • C2 - The soil and overburden (which is rock or soil above the gravel) may not have been accurately measured, or representative of this area. If you believe so, please request a study of the soil and overburden by an independent researcher.

  • C3 - The permit may not accurately portray the existing soil conditions. If you believe so, please request a study of the existing soil conditions by an independent researcher.

  • C4 - Access roads to the property may have been improperly documented in the permit. If you believe so, please explain how the access to East Shepherd Road will impact you or the community.

  • C5 - The permit class for mining 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. If you believe this will negatively affect your inalienable rights to a clean and healthful environment protected by the Montana Constitution, please comment on how you believe the DEQ can protect your rights.

  • C6 - Mapping is located at the end of the permit. If any of the site maps are inaccurate, incorrect, or illegal, please note to the DEQ these discrepancies.

  • C7 - If you believe the site is inaccurately marked, please notify the DEQ with the discrepancies.

  • C8 - Additional information about public outreach may be inaccurate, incorrect, or unverified. If you believe so, please explain how the location of the pit will impact you or the community.


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Section D is about the actual mining of the site.

  • D1 - If you feel like the measures stated in this section do not sufficiently protect surface and ground water, please contact the DEQ with how this might adversely affect you.

  • D2 - If you feel the water management process in this section do not sufficiently protect surface and ground water, please contact the DEQ with how this might adversely affect you.

  • D3 - If you feel that the permit is inaccurate, incorrect, or illegally violating easements, waterways, setbacks, fences, or ditches, please contact the DEQ with how this might adversely affect you.

  • D4 - This section explains how the mine will operate. If there is anything in this section that you feel is inaccurate, incorrect, or illegal, please contact the DEQ with how this might adversely affect you. Additionally, if any of the processes will negatively affect your inalienable rights to a clean and healthful environment protected by the Montana Constitution, please comment on how you believe the DEQ can protect your rights.

  • D5 - This section states their will be no backfill once all the material has been mined out. If you feel this makes reclamation as required by law impossible, please contact the DEQ with how this might adversely affect you.

  • D6 - This section describes the facilities on the mining site, including an asphalt plant. If any of these facilities will negatively affect your inalienable rights to a clean and healthful environment protected by the Montana Constitution, please comment on how you believe the DEQ can protect your rights.

  • D7 - The permit states that there will be no asphalt or concrete recycling on the site. If you feel is inaccurate, incorrect, or illegal, please contact the DEQ with how this might adversely affect you.

    D10 - This sections states the methods and materials that will be used to mitigate impact on the community. If you feel these methods and measures are insufficient, please comment on how you believe the DEQ can protect your inalienable rights to a clean and healthful environment protected by the Montana Constitution.


Section E is about the reclamation of the site after mining has ceased.

  • E1 - This section states that the mine will not be reclaimed until November, 2035. If you feel this will negatively affect your inalienable rights to a clean and healthful environment protected by the Montana Constitution, please comment on how you believe the DEQ can protect your rights.

  • E2 - This section details what the land will look like after reclamation. The permit states that the site will be ‘daylighted’ to the northeast, moving the spring 2100 feet south of its current location, and grading below the groundwater levels, then using drainage ditches to carry water to discharge into Crooked Creek. If you feel that this is an illegal reclamation process, please contact the DEQ with your concerns.

  • E3 - This section is supposed to be completed if the mine goes below the high water table. If you feel like this section of the permit must be completed according to Montana law, please contact DEQ with your concerns.

  • E4 - This section states there will be no depression left after mining, despite no backfill being used. If you feel this is incorrect, please contact the DEQ with your concerns.

  • E6 - This section creates a plan for revegetation. If you feel anything is inaccurate, incorrect, or illegal in this section, please explain how it will impact you or the community in a comment to the DEQ.


Additional information is attached at the end of the permit, including well data, mapping, and other attachments. If any of this information is inaccurate, incorrect, or illegal, please contact the DEQ.

If any of the above information impacts you, please contact the DEQ.