Mining Group Asks Montana Court to Void Ballot Initiative

Initiative would bar future mines in Montana that require the perpetual cleanup of polluted water after the mine closes

By Molly Priddy

HELENA — The Montana Mining Association is asking the state Supreme Court to void a proposed ballot initiative.

The initiative would bar future mines in Montana that require the perpetual cleanup of polluted water after the mine closes.

The mining association’s lawsuit filed Friday seeks to void the initiative on a technical matter.

The initiative says it would become effective upon passage by voters. The association’s lawyers say that goes against a state law requiring initiatives in need additional rulemaking to take effect the following October.

They are asking the court to declare the proposal legally insufficient, to void the petitions used to gather signatures and to block any other signature-gathering until it’s fixed.

The sponsors must turn in signatures by June 22 to qualify for November’s ballot. The initiative’s sponsors did not have immediate comment on Wednesday.

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