If passed by voters on Nov. 6, Initiative 186 would require the Department of Environmental Quality to deny a permit for any new hardrock mines in Montana unless the reclamation plan provides clear and convincing evidence that the mine will not require perpetual treatment of water polluted by acid mine drainage or other contaminants.

Industry-funded opponents of Montana citizen's initiatives to raise the state's tobacco tax and add new mining regulations are vastly outspending the measures' supporters to put their messages in front of voters about a month before Election Day, according to campaign finance reports.


Citing frustration with leaving taxpayers to cover the cleanup costs of abandoned mines, a group of Missoula activists revved up their campaig…