Public comment has closed on the proposal to let Lucky Minerals Inc. do exploratory drilling north of Yellowstone National Park.
Lucky Minerals, based out of British Columbia, wants to drill for gold in Emigrant Gulch. We previously reported the Montana Department of Environmental Quality gave the tentative go-ahead, adding they would ask the company to pursue additional “mitigation measures.” On the whole, per the DEQ’s initial Environmental Assessment, officials believed drilling would “not be significant.”
The DEQ’s public comment period ended yesterday, December 12. And according to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, over 250 people submitted comments:
The Montana Department of Environmental Quality’s public policy director, Kristi Ponozzo, said in an email Monday morning that the department had received 252 online comments and a few more in the mail on its draft environmental assessment of Lucky Minerals Inc.’s plans for exploratory drilling.
The document, which DEQ released earlier this year, said the project wouldn’t have a significant impact on the environment and that the project should be allowed to move forward, as long as Lucky agrees to some “mitigation measures” laid out by DEQ. The company has said it would agree to those measures.
The formal public comment period on the document ended Monday, and Ponozzo said she expected to receive more comments by the end of the day.
“In the next few months we will be working on reviewing and responding to all of the substantive comments we receive and completing our final environmental assessment,” Ponozzo wrote.
Lucky Minerals had previously applied to mine on federal forestland, but pulled their application when they learned “what level of environmental scrutiny” the U.S. Forest Service would have over the project. The company added they believed the environmental analysis would take too long.
The DEQ plans to write up a final environmental assessment before deciding whether to give Lucky Minerals permission to drill.