Montana Mining Discharge and Water Quality, I-122 (1996)

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The Montana Mining Discharge and Water Quality Initiative, also known as I-122, was on the November 5, 1996 ballot in Montana as an initiated state statute, where it was defeated. The measure would have prohibited the issuance of new metal mine permits, exploration licenses or major amendments to cyanide-leach mine permits if mine discharges exceed existing water quality standards at the point of release into state waters.[1][2]

Election results

Montana I-122 (1996)
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No230,28356.75%
Yes 175,534 43.25%

Election results via: Montana Secretary of State

Text of measure

The language that appeared on the ballot:[3]

State law currently allows mine discharges to be diluted after release into state waters in determining whether water quality standards are met. This initiative prohibits issuance of new metal mine permits, exploration licenses, or major amendments to cyanide-leach mine permits if mine discharges exceed existing water quality standards at the point of release into state waters. It would require treatment, before dilution or release, to:
- remove 80% of each carcinogen, toxin and nutrient; or
- meet existing state water quality standards for carcinogens, toxins, iron and manganese, whichever provides greater water quality protection.
If passed, the measure would take effect immediately.
Fiscal Statement:
This initiative increases water treatment requirements and associated costs for certain discharges from some metal mines and exploration operations. Some new mines and mine expansions may no longer be technologically or economically viable, resulting in reduced employment and tax revenue from the mining industry.

[4]

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