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Public hearing set for bentonite mine near Moorcroft

Wyoming's Department of Environmental Quality's Division of Air Quality will hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. April 10 regarding issuing Black Hills Bentonite an air quality permit for a mine near Moorcroft.

GILLETTE, Wyo. — Wyoming’s Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Air Quality is gathering information about whether construction of a bentonite mine near Moorcroft would violate air quality standards and regulations.

Black Hills Bentonite wants an air quality permit for its proposed 317-acre bentonite mine, the Keyhole State Project, according to the department’s public notice. The purpose of the hearing is to gather information concerning the emissions of air pollutants into the atmosphere and the impact of such pollutants on the ambient air quality. The hearing is procedural and won’t be conducted as a contested case. The division proposes approving the company’s request.

The mine would include exposed acreage, stockpiling and haul roads, the notice said. No blasting, hot mix asphalt plants or concrete batch plants are planned for this site. The company estimates the mine will produce about 25,000 tons of bentonite annually.

The public hearing will take place at 6 p.m. April 10 at the Pine Haven Community Center, which is at 3 Industrial Park, Pine Haven, in Crook County.

Black Hills Bentonite’s headquarters is in Casper.