Initiative 186 misleading

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I-186 will appear on the November ballot. If it passes, Montana DEQ will be required to deny a permit to any proposed hard rock mine, if the reclamation plan requires perpetual water treatment.

The purpose of I-186 is misleading because:

• Under today’s standards, Montana’s mining industry already must comply with the State Water Quality Act, Federal Clean Water Act, and multiple other provisions to ensure that any water discharged from a mine is clean.

• The language for I-186 says, “The terms ... within I-186 are not fully defined and would require further definition from the MT Legislature or through DEQ rulemaking.” This vague wording leaves interpretation and implementation of the initiative up to lawyers, politicians and bureaucrats — not the voters.

The impact upon Sanders County could be huge! The Rock Creek Mine will provide hundreds of jobs for our residents and millions in tax revenue for our infrastructure. All other future Montana mines are at risk, as well.

Currently, the Montana mining industry supports over 14,000 jobs and generates $42 million in annual tax revenue for our state and local government. These funds are essential in funding law enforcement, first responders, teachers, schools, infrastructure, roads, parks, healthcare and other critical services.

We must VOTE NO on I-186 in order to protect the health and economy of our county, our state, and our mining heritage. For more information, go to www.StopI186.com.

— Doug and Roni Mitch, Plains

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