Groups challenge Rock Creek Mine water permit

Four environmental organizations contend that a copper-sliver mine proposed to tunnel beneath the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness would rob the region’s streams of water.

On Aug. 31, the groups sent a formal objection to the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, asking that the agency not grant a water-right permit to the Rock Creek Mine. They argue that the DNRC would be breaking three state laws if it allowed the Helca Mining Company to use the groundwater that would seep into the shafts as miners worked their way underground.

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State water deadline undermines tribal water compacts

Montana’s legislators may need to extend a self-imposed deadline to help Montana’s tribes secure their water and avoid years of litigation.

The legislative Water Policy Interim Committee learned Monday that three tribes could be forced to sue the state if the Montana Water Court finalizes water-rights decrees before Congress ratifies the tribes’ water compacts.

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