In July 2011, the Montana State District Court ruled that Revett Minerals needed to obtain an “individual MPDES discharge permit” rather than the issued “general discharge permit” for road upgrades and storm water management during Phase 1 of the project. The company subsequently appealed this decision to the Montana Supreme Court. On October 29, 2012, the Montana Supreme Court upheld the lower state court decision in a 4:2 ruling. The company said it does not consider the decision a setback and has been working for several months with the DEQ on an application for an individual MPDES permit that is expected to be issued and effective by mid-2013.
The company is required to obtain a number of state and federal permits prior to commencing Phase 1 development at Rock Creek. Among these are a State MPDES permit for storm water discharges and issuance of a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the project.
In addition, the U.S. Forest Service, as lead agency, continues to work toward completion of a Supplemental EIS that addresses the matters raised in the Federal district court’s May 2010 ruling. When issued, the Supplemental EIS, together with the Biological Opinion that was upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in November 2011, will form the basis of a re-issued Record of Decision. A draft of the Supplemental EIS will be delivered to the Forest Service by the agency’s contractor during the first quarter of 2013.
“We remain focused on seeing Rock Creek through to development and production,” said John Shanahan, president and CEO, Revett Minerals. “Just as we do at our Troy mine, we believe that we can develop Rock Creek to the highest level of environmental compliance and this project will be a source of pride for the communities of northwest Montana. We remain extremely grateful to both the state and federal agencies that guide us, along with the communities and local businesses that strongly support the development of the Rock Creek project.”