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St. Louis coal company revises Otter Creek mine application; state has 120 days to review

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BILLINGS, Montana — State regulators say Arch Coal Inc. has submitted a revised application for a major coal mine near the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation.

The St. Louis-based company applied to build the Otter Creek mine southeast of Ashland in 2012. Montana's Department of Environmental Quality found deficiencies in the company's application last year.

Arch responded to those concerns with additional documentation on Tuesday.

DEQ project manager Kristi Ponozzo says the agency has 120 days to review the material. After that, it will deem the application acceptable or ask for yet more documentation.

Once a final decision is made, it could take Arch years more to develop a mine. The company also needs a new rail line to ship the fuel out of Montana.

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