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Permit process for natural gas plant near Laurel restarts following residents' pushback

A sign reading "NorthWestern Energy" in silver type against a tan woodgrain background.
Nora Saks
Montana Public Radio/File photo

A NorthWestern Energy contractor is reapplying for a floodplains permit for a planned pipeline in Laurel after Yellowstone County withdrew its permission amid opposition from residents there.

County commissioners called off a scheduled public hearing on the permit when they learned that the applicant is starting the process over.

NorthWestern is seeking to build a methane pipeline under the Yellowstone River in Laurel to support a future 175-megawatt natural gas plant. Laurel residents who oppose the construction say the plant and its infrastructure would affect property value, the environment and quality of life in their neighborhood.

Yellowstone County Chief counsel Jeana Lervick says the public works department received the new application and will open a 15-day public comment period later this week.

Kayla writes about energy policy, the oil and gas industry and new electricity developments.