Silver Bow Kiwanis

Silver Bow Kiwanis Kiwanis Club Meeting, Aug 28, '18

12:00-1:00 Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Larger map and driving directions

Butte Perkins
2900 Harrison Ave.
Butte, MT 59701

Today we were joined by Jim Greene, the new Montana District Governor Elect and Carson, the Montana Tech Circle K vice president.

Doug reported on the Centerville Community Meeting. They are looking to put a playground in at Foreman Park and to fix up the skating rink and add some benches and trees to the Centerville Park on Main Street.

Maggie reminded us that Dress a Child is tonight at Wal-Mart.

Maggie also reminded us that there is a board meeting next Thursday at Metals at 5:30.

The Annual Kiwanis Family Picnic is scheduled for September 12 at Miner's Park in Walkerville. The club will provide burgers and dogs, members should bring sides, deserts, salads, etc. But come early because we'll be doing our service project in the park starting at 5! This also means that the meeting on September 11 is cancelled.

Jeremy then introduced Mike McGivern of Montana Resources to talk about Initiative 186.

There are 12-14 groups behind I-186, and Trout Unlimited is at the lead. The supporters of I-186 point out that the initiative is designed to protect clean water, to protect taxpayers, and that it only affects new mines.

I-186 started in Montana as I-12. Initially it did not exclude old or existing permits. I-186 changed the language to only apply to new permits. However, existing mines do need to file for new permits regularly, even on existing sites. These new permits would be included under the I-186 language, so it is misleading when supporters say it does not apply to any existing mines.

Yes, the Pegasus Mining case was a disaster. They went bankrupt in 1997, and weren't bonded to cover the actual costs of cleanup. However, most of the money that was used for those cleanup efforts weren't from general taxes on the populus, but were from taxes levied against mining and oil companies specifically to help cover these costs in cases where there is a problem like this.

Since 1979 there have been over 30 laws passed to control the environmental impact of mining in the state. Montana already has higher water standards the the Federal standards enforced by the EPA, and the penalties in Montana aren't just fines, but could include prison time.

Currently, each mine's bond is reviewed each year, and an extensive bond review is conducted every five years. Very often, additional bonding is required after these reviews. The amount bonded with the state for mines in Montana has increased considerably since the disasters in 1997 and before, and we are already in a position where that kind of issue should not come up again.

The two biggest issues with I-186 are that the mine has to prove a negative with "clear and convincing evidence," and that several terms, such as "perpetual treatment" are not defined. First, proving a negative is nigh impossible. And then, do things like leeching pools or wetlands, that would be part of the cleanup and contaminant control, but would be in place for many years be "perpetual treatment" or not?

I-186 is designed to block new mines and is unnecessary. The permitting process for new mines is already extremely long and takes a lot of work and spends a lot of time in court. This measure is designed to add more court time and expense to the process. The Rock Creek mine alone has been in 30 years of litigation, even with their compliance with all the laws and environmental concerns. It has been 20 years since the last hard rock mine permit was issued in Montana, for the East Boulder mine.

It should also be noted that 80% of the funds supporting I-186 have come from out of the state, most of that from the east coast.

MT Resources Mark Thompson- Stop I-186
Event Updated
3:56 Monday, September 3, 2018