A Belgrade company has applied to expand a gravel pit southwest of Bozeman, and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality is seeking public comment as it considers the proposal.

The company, TMC, Inc., first developed a 53.5 acre gravel mine about 2 miles north of Gallatin Gateway in 2008 called the Morgan Gravel Pit. TMC applied to expand the pit by 66 acres, which would make it 119.5 acres total.

Ken Stoeber, general manager of TMC, said the expansion is needed to keep up with construction demands.

“As our Bozeman community grows, we need more gravel everywhere. The demand is so big,” Stoeber said.

TMC owns six other gravel and sand pits in Bozeman and Belgrade.

DEQ will hold a public meeting to discuss the proposal on Oct. 23 at the Holiday Inn on Baxter Lane starting at 6:30 p.m. Officials will give a presentation, take public comment and have specialists on hand to answer questions.

A news release from the agency said that because it’s reviewing the application under a tight deadline, it’s looking for people familiar with the area to provide relevant information about the site. That could include concerns about traffic or groundwater.

DEQ must issue a decision by Nov. 2 and will accept comments through an online form through Oct. 30. The decision may be delayed if the comments reveal “substantial issues not adequately satisfied in the proposed Plan of Operation,” according to the news release.

More information on TMC’s permit application and the online comment form is available at deq.mt.gov/Mining/opencut.

Shaylee Ragar can be reached at sragar@dailychronicle.com or at 406-582-2607. Follow her on Twitter @shay_ragar.

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