The Bismarck Tribune reported that South Heart Coal has a lot of work to do on their mine application. Upon review, the Public Service Commission found 400+ technical deficiencies that will have to be fixed before the permit process can continue.
There are so many deficiencies in the application that the PSC has reserved the option of taking another 120 days to review it once it’s resubmitted with better information, said Jim Deutsch, who heads the agency’s reclamation division.
Spokesman for South Heart Coal, Rich Voss, says that it will take several months to amend the application. However, they will continue to move forward and resubmit as soon as the deficiencies are fixed.
Jim Deutsch, the head of the reclamation division of the PSC, said the company has its work cut out for it, but he was not surprised to find such a large number of deficiencies in the application.
Deutsch said the number of technical deficiencies is the most ever in a permit application, but said it’s not completely out of line considering South Heart Coal’s consultants had never worked with North Dakota coal mining laws before.
Due to requests from many people, the PSC will be holding an informal conference on the application on June 28 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Beck Auditorium on the Dickinson State University Campus. This will give people an opportunity to present testimony to an administrative law judge, who could present recommendations to the PSC on the mine permit.