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Environmental Management Bureau

Openpit Mine

The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) regulates activities governed by the Montana Metal Mine Reclamation Act and the Major Facility Siting Act (MFSA).  The EMB coordinates the permitting process for proposed "hard rock" mines and quarries, issues permits when appropriate, inspects permitted mining operations and ensures that disturbed areas are properly reclaimed after mining ends.  It also performs environmental reviews for large powerlines, and pipelines or geothermal facilities proposed under the MFSA.

Bureau responsibilities

  • Regulation of Small Miner activities;
  • Regulation of exploration for "hard rock" minerals;
  • Permit review for proposed gold, silver, copper and  other metal mines, including interaction with federal and other state agencies;
  • Inspections and compliance assistance at operating "hard rock" mines and quarries;
  • Calculation, periodic review and maintenance of reclamation bonds, and ensuring that reclamation is carried out properly after mining operations cease;
  • Oversight of large pipelines and large electrical transmission lines;
  • Regulation of geothermal resources for the creation, use, or conversion of energy.