The Department of Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) is providing $1.3 million to support and expand the use of an electronic coal permitting system developed by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). OSMRE is interested in potentially making the system available to states and tribes across the country.
“Coal permitting is a complex and technical process,’’ said DEQ Director Tom Livers, “I’m proud that Montana can partner with OSMRE to lead the way in improving permitting and regulatory efficiency while promoting public participation and transparency.”
DEQ worked with industry stakeholders to develop the current Montana system. When complete, the expanded e-permitting system will include a public interest component, mobile device compatibility, a photo archive to record mine development and reclamation, software to ensure accurate and consistent bond calculations, and a comprehensive database to enable access to volumes of data about coal mines in the state. In addition to assisting with new and existing permits, it will cover permit modifications and track reclamation activities.
The e-permitting system is another successful project supported by Governor Bullock’s Main Street Montana Project, a dynamic partnership between the private and public sectors.
For more information, contact Kristi Ponozzo of the DEQ at (406) 444-2813.