A year ago, President Donald Trump proposed a $1.9 trillion investment in new gold mining in the United States, a plan that prompted the US Department of the Interior to order the removal of more than 800,000 acres of land and water in the Powder River Basin in Montana and Idaho.
The plan was met with opposition from Montana, Idaho and other states that said the plan would harm the climate.
In late 2017, a new gold mine was announced in northern Montana, but environmentalists say the mine could also contaminate groundwater, threaten drinking water supplies and pollute local water supplies.
The U.S. Department of Interior’s proposed Mine Safety and Health Administration has been asked to provide more details about the proposed mine.
Montana has already sued to stop the mine and the Montana Department of Fish and Game says it will appeal the ruling.
“We have a very serious concern about the impact the proposed gold mine is having on the environment,” Montana Fish and Wildlife director Keith Miller said in a statement.
“The proposed mine poses a grave threat to the environment in the area of the Powder Rivers and Powder River basin in Montana, and will create a major economic burden for our state.
We’re calling on the Department of Energy to delay the approval of the proposed Mine safety and health approval and to delay mining until the state of Montana can show that the proposed project is safe and the water resources are safe.”
Montanas attorney general, Greg Gianforte, said the proposed mining in northern Alaskan waters is a threat to Alaskans water supplies, which is a key element in determining the state’s gold supply.
“There are a lot of places where Montana and other water bodies have significant water and sediment pollution problems that can affect the state and the people of Montana,” Gianfortee said.
Environmental groups have called on the Interior Department to halt the mine.
“We hope that the Trump administration will do everything possible to protect our water resources and to ensure the safety of our drinking water sources,” said the Sierra Club’s John Taylor.
“Montana should be the first in the country to be able to determine that its water is safe to drink.”