Some eastern Montana residents are joining forces to keep a gravel pit from setting up shop in their rural community. The proposed site for the gravel pit is known as the Donnes Site. The site is located one mile east of Shepherd. It's a quiet area and residents say they want to keep it that way.
The Montana Department of Environmental Quality is hosting a community meeting on the proposal tonight, and we're told neighbors will be out in force.
Riverside Contracting of Missoula filed an application to start an open-cut gravel mine in the area. The application asks for permission to operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. That, along with news that there will be a crusher and pulverizer on site, has residents concerned.
Kati Grove is a resident of Shepherd. She said, "We moved out there to have a quiet, rural life, but still be close to Billings. So, I don't want a gravel pit next to us."
The Montana Department of Environmental Quality is seeking public comment on this proposal. They'll be taking public comments on the proposal starting tonight at 6pm at Shepherd High School.
We reached out to Riverside Contracting and they tell us they will have a company representative at that meeting.
The permit application says that the gravel removed from the site would be used for area highway construction projects. For the full permit application, please go to https://searchopencutpermits.mt.gov and type "Donnes" in the "Site Name" box.
The Montana Department of Environmental Quality must make a decision by April 27. They recommend that citizens submit comments before April 26.