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Montana coal mine falling behind permit schedule

By The Associated Press
Published On: Apr 27 2014 09:09:17 AM MDT
BILLINGS, Mont. -

A major coal mine proposed for southeastern Montana has fallen more than two years behind its original permitting schedule.
    
State Department of Environmental Quality officials say they need more information from St. Louis-based Arch Coal, Inc. to complete their environmental study of the proposed Otter Creek coal mine.
    
The study must be finished before Arch can get a permit to mine an estimated 1.4 billion tons of coal near the Wyoming border.
    
Under a recent agreement between the state and Arch, the permit decision date was bumped from August 2013 to late 2015.
    
It could take years more to develop the mine and a rail spur needed to ship the fuel out of Montana.
    
An Arch spokeswoman says the company plans to submit a revised permit application later this year.