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2024 Montana Primary elections
Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Mining Association Asking Montana Supreme Court To Void I-186

The Berkeley Pit in Butte
Mike Albans
The Berkeley Pit in Butte

The Montana Mining Association is asking the state Supreme Court to void a proposed ballot initiative that would require state officials to deny mining permits unless proposed mines would not require perpetual environmental cleanup. 

The Mining Association filed the petition last Friday. It says that because the current language of I-186 would change law immediately if voters approve it this November, it is not legal and should not be allowed on the ballot unless changes are made.

“Montana law requires that if an initiative requires rulemaking it cannot be effective sooner than October 1, following approval,” says Tammy Johnson, the Executive Director of the Montana Mining Association.

Johnson says the petition filed by the association asks that the effective date included in I-186 be changed to at least October of 2018.

The mining association is requesting the court to stop I-186’s signature gathering while this issue is sorted out, which could complicate the supporter’s efforts to collect the more than 25,000 signatures needed to put in on the ballot. Those signatures are due in late June.

Supporters of the ballot initiative say it will protect taxpayers from paying for the environmental cleanup of mining.

Corin Cates-Carney manages MTPR’s daily and long-term news projects. After spending more than five years living and reporting across Western and Central Montana, he became news director in early 2020.
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