The Billings Outpost

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Coal company pays fine

HELENA – The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has received a $15,000 penalty in settlement of its enforcement action against Carbon County Holdings LLC of Billings for violations of the Montana Strip and Underground Mine Reclamation Act.

In August 2009 the Carbon County Holdings submitted an application to conduct coal prospecting activities near Bridger in Carbon County.

During a July 2010 inspection, the DEQ observed that the company had begun prospecting at the site, even though the DEQ had not issued a permit to do so.

The DEQ issued an administrative order in December 2010, citing Carbon Country Holdings for conducting coal mining prospecting activities at the site prior to obtaining a prospecting permit. The DEQ issued the prospecting permit to the company in August 2011.

In September 2011, DEQ and Carbon County Holdings entered into a consent order, whereby the company acknowledged the violation and agreed to pay the $15,000 penalty.

Persons who have questions about the requirements for coal mining operations may contact the DEQ’s Industrial and Energy Minerals Bureau at (406) 444-4964 or visit DEQ’s web site at


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